Finally, a controller for the XBOX that feels natural
Comfortable for the average person, very natural if you are used to a PS1/PS2 controller.
Positioning of the start, stop, black and white buttons will take some getting used to.
The Bottom Line:
Unless you have very large hands, this controller is very natural and probably one of the smartest adjustments that MS made to the original XBOX. Very natural for PS1/PS2 owners.
I bought a V1.0 XBOX about 14 months after they were first released (January 2003). Since I can get really good deals on used consoles I went ahead and bought one. I was thrilled at the deal that I got on the console, but unfortunately I was introduced to the original XBOX controller "The Duke" as it has been affectionately named by gamer enthusiasts. I found "The Duke" to be very awkward and am still convinced to this day that it was designed and produced by one of Andre the Giant's relatives. That is to say that a person with large hands might be comfortable using it but for those with average or smaller size hands it certainly wasn't practical. MS must've realized this as the Controller S was introduced as the regular controller less than a year later and the original beast that came with the XBOX has been discontinued. For me the original controller was so bad that I had to quit playing after about 30-40 minutes since my hands were strained (I kid you not).
Keep in mind that I had gotten used to the PS1/PS2 controller and I was desperately longing for the Controller S so I could have something that was practical. However, I was financially strapped at the time and couldn't afford to go buy one. Thankfully, I was able to obtain one via some hardware swapping.
The Controller S was a much more natural fit for me. The left and right trigger buttons, left and right thumb sticks, directional pad and A,B,X,Y buttons were laid out very comparable to the PS1/PS2 controller so I felt right at home with it and began enjoying the play on my XBOX controller. Like the original controller it also had two slots on the top for memory cards.
There were a couple of minor drawbacks to it. This was the first controller that I had ever used where the "start" and "back" buttons were not positioned in the center of the controller. They are instead located on the left side of the controller just beneath the left thumb stick. Also for those who got used to the old controller the black and white buttons are positioned differently. On the original controller they were positioned above the X,Y,A,B buttons and on the Controller S they were just bellow these buttons. Made for some interesting moments until I was able to get the feel for the controller.
The cord on both controllers is about 6 feet in length so it will provide a decent distance for most people. For those who require more there are extender cords that can be purchased.
Bottom line: Probably one of the smartest adjustments that MS made with the original XBOX was to introduce this controller. Unless you have really large hands you will be comfortable with this thing.