Hori Wired Mini Gamepad – Review

Mini-pad

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Hori is known for their gaming peripherals such as controllers, arcade (fight) sticks and steering wheels. I recently bought one of their products, the Hori wired mini gamepad and I thought this would be a good opportunity to do my first review of a gaming peripheral.

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Let’s start off by saying the most obvious thing, it’s smaller than the standard PS4 controller. If you remove the handles from the standard PS4 controller, what’s left if is roughly the same size of the mini gamepad. The wired mini gamepad is small but it still fits rather snugly into my hands and I have fairly big hands.

As stated in the title this is a wired gamepad so there is no need to recharge or change the batteries. The wire is a meter long so you have some decent length there. I like that the cable is longer as it means I can sit either close to the screen or someways back.

The buttons on the gamepad are nice to the touch and are very responsive. The face buttons, bumpers and triggers all feel good. I was playing Tekken 7 whilst using this controller as fighting games are the best way to put a gamepad through its paces. The wired mini gamepad felt fantastic whilst I was playing Tekken 7.

The analogue sticks are very good and to me, they feel a lot better than the ones on a standard PS4 controller, for fighting games anyway. The d-pad was also good during my Tekken session. It was nice to use and my inputs were all accurately read so that’s a big up in my book.

 

So far I have been singing the wired mini gamepad’s praises but it does have some negatives two of which are weird omissions. Let’s start off by mentioning that it doesn’t have a lightbar. The mini gamepad doesn’t have the glowing lightbar that standard PS4 controllers have and it doesn’t have sensor capabilities. If you have games that require you to move the controller around, this controller is not going to work for you.

One of the weird omissions is the lack of a headphone jack. I was surprised to find that the mini gamepad does not have a headphone jack, a small but very useful thing that is on the standard PS4 controllers. The headphone slot allows people to play their games with headphones on for either better immersion or nighttime gaming. The lack of such a feature is disappointing as I thought something like this would be mainstay feature for gaming controllers going forward.

The other omission is the lack of a vibrate function. Out of all of the missing features, this is the one that boggles my mind. PS2 controllers have vibration feedback, hell even the later PS1 controllers have vibration feedback. Why the Hori wired mini gamepad is missing such an important feature is truly mind-boggling.

One of the biggest problems I have with the Hori wired mini gamepad is the touchpad. If you look at the pictures of the gamepad you’ll notice that the touchpad is rather small. That actually isn’t the touchpad, rather it is the touchpad button. So know you’re wondering, how is the touchpad implemented? Well… I can happily say that all the features of the touchpad are still there but how to use them is complicated. Do you see the little button at the bottom that says TP above it? Press that and you’ll be able to access the touchpad features.

Now I would explain how it works but it is genuinely more complicated than it needs to be, so I will just put pictures of the instructions below on how to use it. Let me know what you think of this in the comments below because to me, it seems easier to just use a standard PS4 for the touchpad features.

The Hori wired mini gamepad is really cool despite it missing some features. The over-complication of the touchpad functions is baffling and couple that with that the lack of a headphone jack and vibration feedback, the result is that these are possible dealbreakers for some potential customers.

The price of it is what keeps it in consideration. You can buy a Hori wired mini gamepad for anywhere between 20 and 30 pounds. It’s a fairly decent price but it’s up to you whether you buy it or not. I think it makes for a good fighting game controller but it’s a bit hit or miss for other games.

Overall, I like the Hori wired mini gamepad even if it is a bit gimmicky. I’d only get it if you’re a collector of all things video games or an avid fighting game player.

 

Let me know in the comments below if you are thinking of getting this controller? Does it appeal to you? Also, if you have any feedback on how I should approach reviews on gaming peripherals and hardware in the future then please do let me know.


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