I know a second, third or fourth controller has always been a luxury, and I’ll admit that this generation has the best designed, most sophisticated line-up ever, but damn they’re still really expensive.

Each controller has distinct features which I’ll go into, but first I averaged out the price from five Aussie retailers.

Here are the results:

  • For an official Dualshock 4 you’ll be paying $73
  • For an official Xbox One controller it’s $71
  • For an official Wii U Pro Controller you’re looking at $69

Pretty pricey.

This isn’t a piece on Australia paying more for everything, but let’s compare American retailers. Just for fun.

  • For an official Dualshock 4 you’ll be paying $60.98
  • For an official Xbox One controller it’s $58.99
  • For an official Wii U Pro Controller you’re looking at $48.99

A significant difference between the countries, for the same product.

Anyway, let’s look at the controllers individually.

An 80 hour battery: implausible but true

An 80 hour battery: implausible but true

Now, it makes sense the Wii U Pro Controller is the least expensive. Sure, it’s well designed and great to look at, but beyond the incredible battery life (about 80 hours) there’s not much else to it feature-wise.

Unlike it’s big brother the Wii U Gampad, there’s nothing on the Pro to jack up the price. There’s no headphone jack of any kind, and the L and R triggers aren’t analogue.

In my book, this should make it significantly cheaper, it isn’t, sitting at just a few dollars under it’s feature-packed competition.

Sleek and sexy, unlike the console itself

Sleek and sexy, unlike the console itself

The Xbox One controller is not only a delight to look at and hold, but it also has the best feedback system ever seen in a factory standard controller.

Those haptic feedback triggers sound gimmicky on paper, but once you experience them used properly (such as in Forza Horizon 2) you’ll love them.

They don’t chew through the battery like you might expect either, even playing a game as rumble heavy as Forza.

And that’s a good thing because the Xbox One controller doesn’t come with a rechargeable battery as standard, instead opting to draw power from two AA batteries.

Add to this a built in headphone jack and some of the best thumb sticks there’s ever been, and you’ve got a solid little unit.

This white DS4 looks better than the black original

This white Dualshock 4 looks better than the black original

Dualshock 4 is the most expensive, though not by much, and it seems to be the most feature packed of the three.

Say what you will about the aesthetics, but no one can deny how close to perfection SONY have come with the form factor of this controller.

And the list of features, whether they’re all necessary or not, is as long as your arm.

The touchpad is under-utilised in games, so is the light bar. The possibilities are there, though.

The DS4 also boasts a 3.5 jack for mic and headphone input (awesome) and a built-in speaker.

. . .

I’m not sure if any of these three sexy pieces of plastic are worth their asking prices, but they are essential if you want to engage in some local multiplayer.

As someone who would never buy a third party controller, is it fair that I’m made to pay through the tooth for the real thing?

It makes me wonder what a stand alone Wii U Gamepad might cost at the shops. $150? $200?

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

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