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Review Of The FragFX For PlayStation 3
Three main components make up the FragFX. The mouse, chuck and mouse pad. At first glance the build quality seemed a little disappointing, but not a deal breaker. The mouse and chuck are made completely out of plastic, excluding the analog stick. Some of the buttons on the mouse feel a tad mushy. They don't have quite that same nice tactile feedback found on some of the high end PC gaming mice, but they work fine for the purpose of a Playstation 3 mouse. Both the chuck and mouse are very lightweight, which I like personally. I know some users prefer a heavier mouse, but the lightness allows it to easily glide over the surface of the included mouse pad.
The FragFX mouse pad is actually very good, though I will probably be using my own pad. The mouse pad is made of cloth and comes embedded in a plastic base. This base also includes a pivoting cradle for the FragFX chuck mounted on the left side. The only small problems I had with the mouse pad were the size (dimensions are around 7 x 8 inches, I prefer something a little larger) and the chuck cradle. The cradle sits lower than the mouse pad for when you rest it on your lap. If you use the pad on a table it doesn't lay flat unless you hang the cradle off the side of the table. Not a big problem though, since any mouse pad made for optical mice can be used. See our images of the FragFX to get a better idea of its physical attributes.
The FragFX connects to the Playstation 3 via a 10ft USB cable attached to the chuck. The mouse is hard wired to the chuck as well, so only one cable connects to the PS3. The FragFX runs off power from the USB connection, so no batteries or charging are required. Since the FragFX has no power source of its own, this does eliminate the ability to turn on the PS3 with the FragFX controller. The FragFX has four modes. They are game mode, mouse mode, swap mode and pMo mode. Game mode is the default mode and obviously used while gaming. Mouse mode allows you to navigate the browser, store, PS home and other menus. In swap mode the mouse movements and analog stick movements on the chuck will be swapped. pMo mode (Programmed Motion Over-ride mode) allows the user to reprogram the motion sensing of the chuck to a button. For example, you could program the knife action of a FPS to a quick swipe of the chuck.
The most important steps that I would strongly recommend not skipping when using the FragFX are tweaking your sensitivity and mapping the buttons to what feels most comfortable for you. The default settings and sensitivity might be fine for some users, but most gamers will require more fine tuning. Personally, I liked the default button layout for the most part but the mouse sensitivity was way too low. When adjusting, it is best to turn the in game sensitivity all the way up. After that use the dial on the FragFX chuck to further fine tune until you find the perfect mouse speed for your gaming style. The button sensitivity can be adjusted as well using the tweak utility available here. The tweak utility is also used for button mapping.
All the buttons found on the dualshock 3 are here and then some. The mouse movement replaces the right analog stick and is used for looking up, down, left and right. The left mouse button replaces R1 as the fire button and the right mouse button functions as R2. The larger middle mouse button is R3 and the small middle button used as start. The circle, X, triangle and square buttons are located on the left side of the mouse. Unfortunately the placement of these buttons on the left side of the mouse means the FragFX can only be used by right handed gamers. Lefties are stuck with the Dualshock 3.
The sensitivity dial, L1, L2, and frag buttons are located on the left chuck. The frag button slows down the mouse movement sensitivity when pressed. It is a analog button, meaning the harder you press it, the slower the mouse becomes. This makes for higher accuracy with small movement operations such as sniping. The sensitivity dial allows you to adjust the overall speed of the mouse in real time while gaming. The dial goes from a low of one to a high of nine. The analog stick, PS button, select and D-pad are also on the chuck. The PS button is above the analog stick and select to the left. The PS button is also a light that indicates the current status of the FragFX. A slow flashing blue light indicates the FragFX isn't on, solid blue is game mode, solid green mouse mode, solid cyan is swap mode and slowly blinking cyan means the FragFX is in pMo mode. The six axis motion control is operated using the chuck.
Pros:+ More precise aiming than the Dualshock 3.
+ Ability to map buttons to movement and configure to your desire.
+ Frag button gives a better sniping experience.
+ Ability to update firmware.
+ Sensitivity adjustment on the fly.
+ Mouse mode for menu navigation.
+ Feels comfortable to use, good ergonomics.
Cons:- Only for right handed users.
- Build quality feels slightly below average even for a plastic controller. Could be improved.
- Priced somewhat high, but the FragFX is more complex than most controllers so this is not a surprise.
- Small mouse pad, but any pad made for optical mice can be used so this isn't much of a con.
- Wired, though a wireless version is supposedly in the works.
Extension: FragFX 1 vs 2