Pads & Joysticks
Saitek Adrenalin Pad
The good news is that the Saitek pad is a better fit for small hands. The bad news is that, as a consequence, the tiny buttons which are really close to one another are really difficult to identify. You are always pushing on the wrong button. Nothing like it to make you lose at Dead or Alive 3. The joysticks are fine and put together well but the direction pad does not identify all eigh directions, which makes it imprecise. Even though the sticks are analog, their movements are a little short. The vibrations turn out to be less powerful than on the original pad. Two different slots are provided for the memory card and the wire is as long as on the original pad, which is a good thing. This pad has a pleasant shape that is perfect for little hands, even if the buttons and the cross are annoying. The price of $30 is very decent.
Thrustmaster Firestorm Programmable Pad
Thrustmaster pads are already well-known and the manufacturer took the same design for the Xbox pad. The general ergonomics is excellent, it is easy to hold and so, it will be popular with the people who think Microsoft's pad is too big. The buttons are spaced and big enough and they seem to naturally fall under the thumb. The directional pad with its bumps and holes makes the eight directions easy to identify. The joysticks are placed well, ergonomic and precise; same thing for the two analog sticks. There is only one slot for the memory card. The wire is very long. The special feature here is a small transparent Program pad. Anytime you want to change the configuration of a button, all you need to do is press on the transparent pad and then on the button to be changed. When you are done, you then press on the next button to be changed. You have to go through the same procedure for every button you want to change. For those who want an additional pad, the Firestorm is an excellent choice. The price of $25 makes it even more of a good choice.