As a casual gamer with incredibly small hands, I have found myself exceedingly frustrated with the Xbox 360's controllers. I often find myself trying to stretch my hands to reach the controls, especially the control sticks, and after even a short hour of gaming my hands tend to be sore or cramping. A few months ago, I started what became a tedious and aggravating search for a smaller controller. I got lucky and found the MadCatz Microcon controller.
It’s advertised as being 15% smaller than the standard 360 controller, and while 15% doesn't sound that much smaller the difference I found to be significant. The smaller size allows the controller to be comfortably held in small hands without restricting the controllability or downsizing the buttons too much. The trigger buttons extrude more than on a normal controller, which keeps them from being difficult to find on the small controller. The analog sticks are less sensitive than the official 360 controllers which benefits to give better precision when maneuvering characters in tight spaces.
The controller itself is made out of rubberized plastic with raised ridges on the side. The feel of the controller is quite comfortable and gives more grip than the smooth plastic of the standard 360 controller.
The Microcon also features a turbo key, which can be applied to all of the action buttons including the bumpers allowing gamers to avoid the sore thumbs that come as a result of repeated button mashing. Also available is an analog stick invert switch allowing gamers to invert the right analog stick quickly of those that prefer inverse y-axis control, especially in first person shooter.
MadCatz does offer a wireless version of the Microcon but I was unable to find one for review. The initial concern in purchasing a wired controller is that most gamers like to sit back on their couch and game without worrying about accidently dragging the 360 across the room during heated gameplay. However, the cord was sufficiently long enough to not be too bothersome with overall length approximately 8 feet.
Overall, I really enjoyed this controller and would recommend it to anyone who finds the standard 360 controller cumbersome. The price is okay as a third party controller at $34.99, just slightly less than a wired official controller. One downside to the Microcon is its availability as there are a few available on Amazon.com and none through the MadCatz website. In addition, most local video game retailers do not carry the Microcon.