Thrustmaster T-Wireless Duo Pack PC/PS3 Controllers Review

Others/Miscelleneous by jmke @ 2012-07-13

Thrustmaster send us their latest gaming peripheral, a duo of wireless thumbstick controllers which work on PS3 and PC. The last product on our review bench from Thurstmaster left us seriously impressed; can they repeat the performance with this entry level gaming solution?

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Testing on PS3

The obvious comparison


Up to now you had no good idea of the size, well, these things are small, compared to the PS3 dualshock there’s a noticeable size difference. Here two photos of my 2 year old daughter holding the T-Wireless vs PS3 controllers:


Testing on PS3

I’m a PC gamer at heart but ever since the release of the original XBOX (and the possibility to modify it), I’ve widened my horizons, adding a PS2 and later a PS3 to the collection. Gaming wise I do believe some game genres are better suited for PC and other for console.


In my opinion, sport games which mostly rely on multiple buttons and movement of 3rd person characters do well with controllers on the big screen, while first person shooters and real time strategy games work best with the precision of a mouse and keyboard. Some games do well on both platforms, which is when you can share controllers: racing games.



After plugging in the two USB adapters and pressing the home button on each T-Wireless everything was ready to go.

I started off with a personal favorite of mine: Fight Night Round 3 (and later on Fight Night Champion).  With a close buddy (madman) we sometimes go 20 minutes for one bout of the ring with our alter egos. It can be a thumb twister and finger spaghetti to block, parry and swing a few uppercuts and haymakers in the direction of your opponent. This was a good test for the T-Wireless as we alternated between the PS3 controller and the newcomer from Thrustmaster.



As we adapted to the smaller size of the T-Wireless we found the controller to be more comfortable for longer periods of play compared to the Sony original, as we exchanged virtual punches and tried to remain on our feet we got a unpleasant surprise, as the controller is small and all the buttons are in close proximity of one another, accidentally hitting the wrong button can be annoying. It also happens with the Sony PS3, hitting the home button and getting thrown out of game, this happened with the T-Wireless also, all-in-all in the heat of “battle” and “button smashing” it’s to be expected, a quick press of the home button and the game continues.


The unpleasant surprise with the T-Wireless happens when you accidentally press the “map” button which sits right above the home button (and between the two thumbsticks). Pressing this button and then pressing two other buttons will swap their functionality. While the end result can be hilarious for a second, when you’re about the win you don’t want the controller to be in the way; let alone be the cause of failure. With the T-Wireless we noticed this happening more often than we desired, powering off/on the controller reset the buttons to default and the fight could continue, but it definitely detracted from the gaming experience. After trying our best for hours to not press that malicious MAP button, we ended up swapping back to the Sony controller. If not for that annoyance, we did prefer the size and button layout of the T-Wireless.( @Thrustmaster: make an off/on switch for that MAP button and it will be golden!)


Next we moved on to another game genre, we booted up Gran Turismo 5 and quickly realized that without accurate pressure sensitive buttons or analog triggers these T-Wireless controllers are no match for the Sony DualShocks. Arcade racing games went much better (Burnout Paradise, Motorstorm), but simulations or racing games which require finer control over acceleration/brake were not enjoyable with the T-Wireless.

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