The PS3 mouse - Splitfish Frag V2 first impressions

Hey there Escapists. A few weeks back I heard about this incredible thing - a PS3 controller with a mouse and a wii style nunchuck. Needless to say as someone who enjoys FPS, I was very excited about this discovery. So excited in fact, I bought one. And it was a GOOD CHOICE.
EDIT: Also, if you could leave a comment, this is my first try at any sort of review... feedback is welcome.

So, let's get to it. I'll start with the bad. Really, just nit-picky issues. Firstly, the controller is wired which can be a minor annoyance, but it is quite long (10ft) so not a big issue there. Second issue is that while it is plug and play, for every game you need to fiddle with the sensitivity to get it to that perfect mouse feel. However, this is fairly easily accomplised as there's a dial on the nunchuk. With too high sensitivity it can be jittery, too low and you don't turn fast enough, but when you get the sweet spot it's very respectable. Third annoyance is button placement. This is fairly minor as it's mostly something that I'll just need to learn/get used to but on the nunchuck the d-pad is positioned so that I find it easiest to push with the middle of my thumb (on the joint). On the mouse, initially I found the triangle/square/X/circle buttons to be too far back so it was a bit awkward to push but after a little more game time I found it to be fairly natural. The last issue is on the mouse's left/right buttons. I believe they have the same analog sensitivity as a standard PS3 controller (so you could feather a gas/brake peddle) and in a FPS this means you need to fully depress them to fire. I found that initially I didn't push hard enough and missed a chance at a kill, but again just something to get used to. After a little while it wasn't much of an issue, but still it would be nice if they were standard "clicky" mouse buttons.

Now, the good. Obviously using a mouse to aim is a big advantage over a thumb stick. The mouse is optical so it's quite accurate and can be used on pretty much any surface. They included a big stiff mouse pad so you can place it on your legs or on the couch and it works very well. In MW2, with the settings I have it on I could probably do a 360 or a bit more if I were to use the full width of the mouse pad so it's really good. Also, the nunchuck has 6-axis motion and it allows you to link any one button to the vertical so in MW2 you could make it your knife, reloading or jumping... whatever. And the controller allows you to adjust the motion sensitivity as well as it's neutral position. Two more features that are quite nice are the Frag button and auto-fire. The Frag button dramatically reduces mouse sensitivity which can be useful for sniping. This button is located above L1 and you can easily hit both with one finger. The auto-fire feature I've not used, but it's basically a "turbo" feature so you could use a semi-auto gun (FAL or a pistol) and just hold the trigger for auto fire.

My conclusion is this. If you can afford it and like shooters, get it. Now. I've only been able to put a handful of hours on it this weekend, and it takes some getting used to since I haven't played with a mouse set up in a year or more plus it's a whole new button configuration to learn. However, already I'm getting a lot better and there's been several instances that with a regular controller, I wouldn't have come out on top as they're a lot slower to aim. Also, Splitfish is releasing their Pro version which is wireless so that might be good to look into. You can check out their website at http://splitfish.com

And here's a nice img:
image
You can see the middle mouse buttons - the long one is R3 and the small one on top is Start. On the nunchuk you have from top to bottom the shoulders are Frag, L1, L2. The thumbstick clicks down for L3. And on the inside of the nunchuck you can see the sensitivity dial.

Isn't using a mouse in a console FPS the equivelent of cheating? It's like using steroids in sports. It kind of unbalances the playing field a bit.

THAT is what the Playstation Move should look like!

it looks like a decent design, but it sort of defeats the entire purpose of owning a console to me.

If I ever get a PS3, which I might, then I'm getting that. It'll make the jump way easier.

Thanks for informing.

There's one of these!? Awesome! I don't really need it, considering all my FPS playing is on the PC, but I'm glad the option is out there.

FUCK ME THAT LOOKS FUCKING AWESOME...

Seriously that is the most cool thing ever released for the PS3...

Daystar Clarion:
Isn't using a mouse in a console FPS the equivelent of cheating? It's like using steroids in sports. It kind of unbalances the playing field a bit.

Cheating? Really? It's not an aimbot. Takes skill to be accurate. It's an advantage, yes. Cheating? No. It's available to everyone and won't shrink your balls. More like buying an awesome 1 piece graphite hockey stick when everyone's using wood.

Craftybonds:
it looks like a decent design, but it sort of defeats the entire purpose of owning a console to me.

What? You own a console so that you can use a gamepad rather than a mouse?

Man, you've got money to burn.

Wow I have never even heard of that before now! When I get my PS3 fixed, I'm definitely going to save up and get one. And plus it just looks cool!

You PS3 guys are fairly luckier than 360 fellers. If you get caught with a turbo-modded controller on Microsoft's service, you're on a one-way ticket to Banville, on the island of Ban'd.

I must say, anything with a turbo feature, in my opinion, should be smashed into tiny little pieces. It's straight-up cheating in my mind.

Daystar Clarion:
Isn't using a mouse in a console FPS the equivelent of cheating? It's like using steroids in sports. It kind of unbalances the playing field a bit.

No more than someone using an arcade stick as opposed to a normal controller in a fighting game. Or a player using a big, high def TV which makes it easier to spot enemies. All in all, though, the most important thing is the skill of the player, not the equipment they're using.

Wolfram01:

Daystar Clarion:
Isn't using a mouse in a console FPS the equivelent of cheating? It's like using steroids in sports. It kind of unbalances the playing field a bit.

Cheating? Really? It's not an aimbot. Takes skill to be accurate. It's an advantage, yes. Cheating? No. It's available to everyone and won't shrink your balls. More like buying an awesome 1 piece graphite hockey stick when everyone's using wood.

You're just saying that because you have one. :)

I for one, will stick to the unwritten code of gaming conduct.
Rule number 146/739. S.4
Thou shall not gaineth advanatage over other players through the use of a modified contoller, covered in subsection 846, joypads for consoles and a mouse for PCs respectfully.
Breaking said rules will result in the permnanent title of Lord Toolage of Douchebaggery the VII.

Danny Ocean:

Craftybonds:
it looks like a decent design, but it sort of defeats the entire purpose of owning a console to me.

What? You own a console so that you can use a gamepad rather than a mouse?

Man, you've got money to burn.

I wouldn't use this for, say, God of War. It's really for a FPS in which case I can't see why you'd prefer thumbsticks for aiming.

Danny Ocean:

Craftybonds:
it looks like a decent design, but it sort of defeats the entire purpose of owning a console to me.

What? You own a console so that you can use a gamepad rather than a mouse?

Man, you've got money to burn.

I do aswell.
I have a wii, a 360 and a PS3, the only reason I play them over my PC is because I like playing with a controller.

Daystar Clarion:

You're just saying that because you have one. :)

I for one, will stick to the unwritten code of gaming conduct.
Rule number 146/739. S.4
Thou shall not gaineth advanatage over other players through the use of a modified contoller, covered in subsection 846, joypads for consoles and a mouse for PCs respectfully.
Breaking said rules will result in the permnanent title of Lord Toolage of Douchebaggery the VII.

I think you're just saying that because you don't have one. But let me ask you, is a force feedback wheel and pedals cheating in a racing game? Is an arcade stick controller cheating in fighting games?

If so, I can only think your view is one of either jealousy that you don't own one or fear that you'll get pwned. Frankly if you're good with a regular controller it won't matter all that much. The biggest advantage is the ability to quickly and accurately rotate a big distance - say you run around a corner right past an enemy, the guy who can turn quickest will probably get the kill. So mouse is going to be better then. But if you're at range with an assault or sniper rifle, neither controller has a big advantage.

You may as well call cheater about people who use grenade launchers in MW2. Or thermal scopes. Or heartbeat sensors. It's all about gaining a little advantage over your opponents. If it wasn't we wouldn't use attachements.

IMO the only valid gripe is about the turbo function, which is not automatically enabled. You need to program it in to a specific button. And even then, it's my opinion a turbo function is only truely a cheating advantage in a fighting type game.

NuclearPenguin:

Danny Ocean:

Craftybonds:
it looks like a decent design, but it sort of defeats the entire purpose of owning a console to me.

What? You own a console so that you can use a gamepad rather than a mouse?

Man, you've got money to burn.

I do aswell.
I have a wii, a 360 and a PS3, the only reason I play them over my PC is because I like playing with a controller.

Yeah, it's not like the PC as the most versatile platform has the ability to play just like a console by plugging in a controller and a tv screen or something...

Seriously, people, get out from under your rocks, hardware compatibility is nearly universal these days.

Asehujiko:

NuclearPenguin:

Danny Ocean:

Craftybonds:
it looks like a decent design, but it sort of defeats the entire purpose of owning a console to me.

What? You own a console so that you can use a gamepad rather than a mouse?

Man, you've got money to burn.

I do aswell.
I have a wii, a 360 and a PS3, the only reason I play them over my PC is because I like playing with a controller.

Yeah, it's not like the PC as the most versatile platform has the ability to play just like a console by plugging in a controller and a tv screen or something...

Seriously, people, get out from under your rocks, hardware compatibility is nearly universal these days.

Yes but it requires time and a corded 360 controller

Wolfram01:

Daystar Clarion:

You're just saying that because you have one. :)

I for one, will stick to the unwritten code of gaming conduct.
Rule number 146/739. S.4
Thou shall not gaineth advanatage over other players through the use of a modified contoller, covered in subsection 846, joypads for consoles and a mouse for PCs respectfully.
Breaking said rules will result in the permnanent title of Lord Toolage of Douchebaggery the VII.

I think you're just saying that because you don't have one. But let me ask you, is a force feedback wheel and pedals cheating in a racing game? Is an arcade stick controller cheating in fighting games?

If so, I can only think your view is one of either jealousy that you don't own one or fear that you'll get pwned. Frankly if you're good with a regular controller it won't matter all that much. The biggest advantage is the ability to quickly and accurately rotate a big distance - say you run around a corner right past an enemy, the guy who can turn quickest will probably get the kill. So mouse is going to be better then. But if you're at range with an assault or sniper rifle, neither controller has a big advantage.

You may as well call cheater about people who use grenade launchers in MW2. Or thermal scopes. Or heartbeat sensors. It's all about gaining a little advantage over your opponents. If it wasn't we wouldn't use attachements.

IMO the only valid gripe is about the turbo function, which is not automatically enabled. You need to program it in to a specific button. And even then, it's my opinion a turbo function is only truely a cheating advantage in a fighting type game.

I was clearly having a larf (see the smiley in post?), why would I be jealous? I don't consider stuff built into the game to be cheating (unless it's an exploit of course), joy sticks are very similiar to joypads and I've had experience with using both a joypad and steering wheel in racing games, with no apparent improvement with either. A mouse, on the other hand, will destroy a joypad in an FPS almost every time,I know that and I'm not even a PC gamer.

Danny Ocean:

Craftybonds:
it looks like a decent design, but it sort of defeats the entire purpose of owning a console to me.

What? You own a console so that you can use a gamepad rather than a mouse?

Man, you've got money to burn.

Yeah, i do.

And the reason why i don't hook mice up to any of them is so i can justify having what is basically 4 computers hooked up to the same monitor.

So why not just use a gamepad on your pc?

This is actually a really slick peripheral, and if I was a console person, I'd definitely get it. As it stands, my consoles are more like amusing distractions from the raw fury that is my desktop.

Hey me uncle recommended me one of these! Good things these may be.

A friend of mine has one, although a slightly different make, and he wants to sell it.

It just converts to analog movement, and it feels very different in different games. According to him, it worked great in MW2, but pretty badly in any other shooter.

This is a great idea, the only problem is we shouldn't even freaking need this!

Both the 360 and PS3 both have USB ports yet they won't let you use a mouse or a keyboard in these games. The only reason that I can come up with is BUY OUR EXPENSIVE AS HELL CONTROLLER. Hell in Red Faction 2 (PS2) you could use a keyboard and mouse on it! What happened to this awesome and why does it not continue??

NOW

I will play my FPS on a console. I can finally AIM!

Asehujiko:

NuclearPenguin:

Danny Ocean:

Craftybonds:
it looks like a decent design, but it sort of defeats the entire purpose of owning a console to me.

What? You own a console so that you can use a gamepad rather than a mouse?

Man, you've got money to burn.

I do aswell.
I have a wii, a 360 and a PS3, the only reason I play them over my PC is because I like playing with a controller.

Yeah, it's not like the PC as the most versatile platform has the ability to play just like a console by plugging in a controller and a tv screen or something...

Seriously, people, get out from under your rocks, hardware compatibility is nearly universal these days.

But you'll never sunburn under a rock :).

Volafortis:
A friend of mine has one, although a slightly different make, and he wants to sell it.

It just converts to analog movement, and it feels very different in different games. According to him, it worked great in MW2, but pretty badly in any other shooter.

Hmm maybe ask to borrow it and try it out. Pretty sure he's just not adjusting the sensitivity well. Now, I haven't played a lot of games with it but it was working great in BioShock 2 as well. The splitfish website has recommended settings for a lot of FPS games.

Volafortis:
A friend of mine has one, although a slightly different make, and he wants to sell it.

It just converts to analog movement, and it feels very different in different games. According to him, it worked great in MW2, but pretty badly in any other shooter.

It's awkward, the games I tried it out in were MW2, BF1964, MAG, Bad Company, Killzone 2, UC2, and some games it wasn't really designed for, like Arkham Asylum, and offkilter games (but still playable as a shooter, in some sense) like Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time.

MW2 was the game it worked best with, but even after updating the firmware, I still have to crank the ingame sensitivity to the max and then lower the FragFX sensitivity to 3 to get a stable movement range where I don't overshoot, because from my impressions, this is how it works.

Each number on the frag-chuck represents a different starting point on the controller (as in dead-zone), you can sweep the mouse really fast in order to get it to register a farther tilt. Because of how the stick movement is mapped out on controllers, it makes it a gigantic pain in the ass to move it upward/downward.

Upward-Downward movement was a pain in EVERY GAME I played it with, it made it hard to move up and aim at anything higher or lower than 45 degrees, and even worse when you try to move the mouse at a diagonal, because the motion at any sensitivity acts like it's climbing a stair-case instead of moving in that direction. This is a problem that is obviously caused by the fact that it's just translating the mouse movements into analog movement, because I also own a gaming PC and frequently play shooters on it, and I've never seen a mouse act like this before.

Then, in every other game, with the exception of arkham asylum since it really just has an over the shoulder third person semi-locked camera, I experienced a massive problem for someone who is making a transition to console gaming and maybe buying a FragFX with a ps3 trying to make it easier to play shooters, and this is slowdown. In some games like BF1943 where it isn't so bad and it's at least usable at the 4th level of sensitivity which is where you get the best balance between movement and the increments your cursor moves in you can at least aim and shoot.. somewhat, but in other games, the worst of this being Uncharted 2 which I borrowed from the quoted, it was absolutely horrible, making aiming an enormous pain because in order to get decent turning speed, you need to crank the mouse's sensitivity to the upward numbers in scale. Though, when you do that, you end up sacrificing accuracy for speed, making long-range aiming not just a challenge, but impossible. I know there's a button that lets you dial in a lower sensitivity, but when it's set at the lowest initial sensitivity, because of the aforementioned speed problem, it also makes aiming a pain the ass.

Lastly, I don't like the button set-up. The Fragchuck's "Frag Button" is in an uncomfortable place and kind of makes it annoying for people who hold one finger on the shoulder because it's above the button you'd normally use to go into an aiming mode, then there's the control stick which has a bright as hell LED below it that if you angle it right like I've so often done on accident, you'll get a bright blue flash in the eyes.

Anyways, I'll return later and make this a less rushed post, and elaborate more, but for now, my experience with the FragFX makes me want to say that it's better to just use a standard controller instead of this, for the advantage I got with the one game I traded in because of the stupidly unbalanced MP it was far from worth the 60 dollar price tag I could've used to get something more worthwhile than this, like, you know, an actual game.
Plus, you know, you could always just build a PC and play your non console exclusive games on that, instead of having to worry about silly little peripherals like this.

I have one, it's pretty good, but it unbalances the field, for example in Killzone 2 using that thing I got on one match 27 kills before someone could take me down. Then again I am an experienced PC gamer so a mouse feels more natural to me.

AVeryDrunkPanda:
-

Hmm well, I have to think generally the best bet is to max the sensitivity in game, and decrease it on the nunchuck - just a thought. As to MW2, I actually use it at 4.5 with max in the game options and I find it works absolutely awesome. No issues with up/down left/right. Right when I first plugged it in, it was jittery but with some adjustments it smoothed out. I also had an issue with constantly lifting the mouse and readjusting it, but I don't do that anymore so that also helped. I don't really use the frag button, I've found that simply aiming down the sights reduces sensitivity enough that I can be very accurate at range - just got the MW2 challenges for unloading a full sniper clip without missing and another for 3 long range kills in one life this past day.

Anyway, I feel that I've not encountered many of your issues so maybe you had a somewhat defective one... don't know. Maybe you used version 1 whereas I got V2... All I know is I'm loving it, but certainly it's up to the consumer if they want one or not. Even with a gaming rig, I still like this peripheral.

Just an update: Splitfish has released their Pro version of the mouse/nunchuk. It's main features are improved button layouts, it's wireless (with a USB thing), and supposedly it's more accurate. Also, it's $20 more, so probably not worth the extra price tag but I can't say for sure.

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