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AFTERGLOW AP.1 for the PS3
Score: 85%
Developer: Performance Designed Products
Device Type: Controller


Looking for an extra PS3 controller, but you don't need fancy SIXAXIS functionality (or prices)? Do you think that wireless is overrated? At the same time, you wish that you had a controller with a style and a flash all its own - oh, and maybe with am Analog Stick layout like the Xbox 360's controllers? Sounds like you're describing the AFTERGLOW AP.1 for the PS3. It's not your top-o-the-line controller with wireless and motion control, but it does what you need for most games out there.


The AFTERGLOW AP.1 for the PS3 is smaller than a standard OEM PS3 controller, which might make it more comfortable for some people with small hands. However, my wife, Psibabe, found that the action buttons were too close to the Right Analog Stick for her liking. I see her point, but it's unusual for a game to require heavy use of both the Right Analog Stick and the action buttons. However, their close proximity to each other could be bothersome to some players.

Completely out of the way, on the very bottom center of the AFTERGLOW AP.1, there is a button to control the AFTERGLOW lighting system. It can be turned off, if it is undesired, or can be set to turn the lights on when the vibration motors are active. I find that I can easily use this button while holding the controller upright by simply reaching underneath with my right index finger, but there is no way that I have encountered (nor that I can imagine) that I would accidentally hit this button, so the placement seems pretty good for this button.

One design feature that works out pretty nicely is the AFTERGLOW AP.1's contoured grip, which adds a raised area to the back of the controller's grips, making it easier to keep a good grip on the controller, much like the contoured areas on the back of some steering wheels intended to provide comfortable and stable locations for one's fingers.

I found that the concave rubberized Analog Sticks provided both an indention in which to rest the pads of your thumbs and a grippy rubber surface which was almost as grippy as the Grip-It Analog Stick Covers. (As a side note, the Grip-Its do fit the Analog Sticks on the AFTERGLOW AP.1 for PlayStation 3.)

Those of you who prefer the Analog Stick layout of the Xbox 360 to that of the PS3 may be interested in giving a AFTERGLOW AP.1 for PlayStation 3 a try. The Left Analog Stick and the D-pad are in the opposite positions as the OEM PlayStation 3 controllers, in a layout with which Xbox 360 gamers would be much more familiar.

  • 6' 6" USB Cord
  • Xbox 360 Analog Stick Orientation (see image)
  • Transparent Plastic Casing Reveals Inner Electronic Workings
  • Bright Adjustable LED Lighting With Three Settings
    • On
    • Off
    • Vibration-Signal Activated
  • Large Convex (L2) and (R2) Triggers Prevent Slippage
  • Unique Ergonomic Design for Improved Grip
  • Dual Shock Compatible Vibration Feature
  • Color-Matched Internal Mechanisms and Lighting System

Drawbacks & Problems::

While the AFTERGLOW AP.1 for the PS3 is a PS3 controller, it's not exactly like the original PS3 controller. I'm not saying this is a drawback or a problem; I'm just stating a fact. If you're looking for a controller that is exactly like the original controller but cheaper, then this isn't the controller you're looking for. The AFTERGLOW AP.1 is different both by design intent and because it has to be, legally speaking. If your hands are big or you have some unique way of holding a controller, you might find the close proximity of the action buttons and the Analog Stick to be an issue. Personally, I didn't.

If you're looking for a compact, entry-level controller with some personality and flair, (or flare, for that matter), at about half the cost of a SIXAXIS controller, your thirty dollars, give or take, may be best spent on a AFTERGLOW AP.1.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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