PowerA has launched its Pastel Series collection of upgraded wired controllers for Xbox Series X|S, so we’ve given you our first impressions of these affordable third-party accessories.
With the cost of living beginning to rise rapidly, it’s becoming harder and harder to justify spending large sums of money on our favorite hobby, especially if you’re a collector who likes to display your accessories instead of use them. With PowerA’s recent launch of its Pastel Series collection of Xbox Series X controllers | S, we wanted to know if they had the potential to join our collection as affordable display pieces or practical play accessories.
PowerA Designed for Xbox Pastel Xbox Series X|S Trailer
PowerA Improved Wired Controller for Xbox Series X|S offers a good number of features for its £34.99 / $37.99 / €41.99 price tag, making it a fairly affordable option for gamers who don’t want to spend too much money on a new controller. If you’re like us, collecting the different styles of Xbox controllers is part of the pastime, and it inspires a sense of pride when your friends and family catch an eye on the accessories displayed during the visit, and tell you lightheartedly ‘re a nerd. However, this can be quite an expensive undertaking, as many of the official special edition Xbox Series X|S Controllers retails for around £64.99 / $69.99 / €69.99 – and it’s no frills, apart from being wireless.
PowerA’s latest collection of Enhanced Xbox Series X|S Controllers comes in five pastel-colored designs: Cotton Candy Blue, Lavender Swirl, Pink Lemonade, Purple Camo, and Pastel Dream, which is what we’re currently reviewing. One of the most remarkable aspects of PowerA’s controller is its almost identical design to Microsoft’s offering, which, at least for us, is what we’d want when displaying it alongside the official controllers – only a few slight inconsistencies on the face of the controller stand out from the official accessories, per through the micro controls and power light, but that’s it.
The visual design of the controller has a light color with a matte finish. It’s quite subtle and helps the metallic D-pad stand out from the rest of the controller details. The rocker surrounds, triggers and bumpers are made of smooth plastic with a glossy finish, so no textured grips on the triggers. If you plan to flaunt the controller, that’s fine, but if it’s something you like about a controller when you’re using it, you might miss the feel. The back has a machine-cut textured grip, so there’s always something for you on that front. As for the textured grips, the rockers themselves have a rough edge, which is susceptible to dirt. Even the cleanest hands in the world won’t save these from needing very regular cleaning, so I’m reluctant to know what condition Dorito’s eaters will make the triggers look like.
Now, beauty aside, how well does it perform as a made-for-Xbox gaming accessory? Pretty good, actually, and there are a few additions you definitely don’t get with Microsoft’s offering. We mentioned earlier that these are lightweight controllers, and they are, which is great for long periods of play. The way PowerA’s upgraded controllers will handle drops – or throws for that matter, like some of you might be used to it – is debatable and we haven’t tried to find out, but for everyday use the build quality seems more than adequate. These are wired controllers, which have a braided, detachable ten foot USB cable for tidy storage or for putting the controller on display.
On the feature side, you can expect to find dual vibration motors, the now common share button, and a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. On the front of the controller, there’s a “one-touch” mute and mic volume button so you don’t have to head into your console settings or mess with the headset itself while you’re playing. part. For us, however, the standout feature is the two remappable buttons on the rear of the controller, making it an affordable accessory for those who rely on rear buttons. You can remap on the fly using the center button as well, meaning no fiddly third-party apps needed.
Overall, the latest version of PowerA thematic collection, Pastel Series, for the Xbox Series X|S Enhanced Wired Controller offers an affordable way to expand your controller collection. Its shape and details are close enough that it doesn’t stand out too much as a third-party controller when displayed next to official offerings. While there are a few design elements that could definitely be tweaked slightly, there were no issues during the long gaming sessions we subjected the controller to – the lovely Pastel Dreams controller was dragged through the hell while we were playing Evil Dead: The Game. Our first impressions are that if you’re looking for a new controller, this is definitely worth your consideration, thanks to how many features you get for your money. Plus, he looks really cool on screen, so he’s a winner either way.
An Xbox Series X|S Enhanced Wired Controller test unit – Pastel Dream has been provided by PowerA for the purposes of this article.