While something of a novelty when compared to the manufacturer's more functional offerings, the 3-in-1 Remote is actually a slick little piece of hardware. It features all the navigation buttons you'd want on a Blu-ray remote, a slide-out keyboard similar to that of a T-Mobile Sidekick, and -- apart from the absent analog sticks -- all the buttons and functionality of a regular PS3 controller.
The lack of analog input dramatically limits its uses as a gaming controller, though we imagine it would still work just fine with some simpler PSN titles and PSOne Classics. The projected $39.99 price tag may be a tad too steep for a stick-less peripheral, but if you're in the market for a high-end Blu-ray remote, we suppose you could do a lot worse.
Power A's making a bold statement with this controller's projected $49.99 price point -- while most other third-party peripherals attempt to gain market share by offering a much cheaper alternative than the competition, the Pro Elite clocks in at just $5 cheaper than a DualShock 3. Is it worth the extra Lincoln to go with a brand with which consumers aren't nearly as familiar?
Honestly, it's hard to say. One of the key selling points of the Pro Elite is its sweat-proof grip, which is supposed to cut down on manual perspiration by letting air flow freely betwixt controller and man. I don't suffer from perpetually sweaty palms, so this wasn't much of a selling point for me. In fact, the grip just felt kind of rough to the touch, which didn't seem like a worthwhile trade-off for keeping my apparently freakishly dry hands free of any and all natural moisture.
Other than the grip, the controller's design is top-notch. It's got a nice heft to it, features inverted L2 and R2 buttons (a feature that makes the triggers on first-party PS3 controllers just seem ... silly) and an analog stick layout which mimics the design of the 360 controller. Your preferences may vary, but when it comes to first-person shooters, I prefer to keep my thumbs at 9 and 5, thank you very much.
Power A's most unassuming product actually turned out to be my favorite. The Pro Pack Mini includes a miniaturized Wii Remote and Nunchuck for just $49.99 -- which, at first read, might sound like a pretty ridiculous idea, as those two devices are already fairly diminutive in stature.
Still, Power A's take on the controller (which is 35 percent smaller than its first-party counterpart) just feels great, partly due to its compact frame, but mainly due to its sleek, rounded edges. As you can probably tell from the image above, the A, 1 and 2 buttons are all much larger than the Wii Remote's inputs, and are even backlit -- perfect for those intimate, moonlit Boom Blox sessions.
I didn't get to try the MiniRemote with the MotionPlus dongle attached -- given the add-on's flush fit with Nintendo's Wii Remote, it may feel weird when attached to Power A's much less boxy controller. Still, at $10 cheaper than the price of the two first-party devices, the Pro Pack Mini seems like a great third-party option for folks with small budgets (and even smaller hands).