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Grip-It
Score: 95%
Developer: CompuExpert
Device Type: Accessory
Compatible With:



Function:

The PlayStation controller hasn't changed a lot in a while. Sure, they've gone from wired to wireless and added rumble and motion sensing, but the general shape of the OEM PS2/3 controller hasn't changed much sense the addition of Dual Analog Sticks. Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 controller hasn't changed at all, and is one of the most popular gamepads used with PCs, as well.

Grip-It is an add-on cover for the Analog Sticks on these controllers. As it turns out, the Analog Sticks are pretty darn near identical in size. Slip a Grip-It over your Analog Sticks and the textured thumb pad of the rubber sleeve gives you something to grip.


Performance:

There's not a lot to the Grip-Its... you invert them, set them, centered, on top of your Analog Stick, then roll their inverted edges back down, around the edge of the Analog Stick. The fit is a little bit tight, and it can be difficult to get it lined up so that it's exactly centered, but a couple tries and you're good.

Once in place, the Grip-It's rubber construction and textured top provide an obvious improvement in surface adhesion. Light contact with your thumb is all that is needed while moving your thumb to move the stick. You're thumbs are unlikely to slip off of the Analog Sticks while playing if you have the Grip-Its installed. I don't know how prevalent that problem is, but the Grip-It should pretty much stop that cold.

Although it's not pointed out by the promotional material, the Grip-It fits the original Xbox and PS2 controllers' Analog Sticks very well. To a lesser degree, the Grip-It also works with the Wii Nunchuck; they're slightly larger than the Nunchuk's Analog Stick, to the point that it will sometimes rattle if shaken without touching the Analog Stick, but the Grip-It won't fall off of the Nunchuk accidentally and, due to the grippy material, the Grip-It sticks comfortably to your finger and the Analog Stick when in use, making it comfortable to use with the Wii Nunchuk, despite being slightly over-sized for it. I have used the Grip-It Analog Stick covers successfully with Analog Sticks ranging from 11mm (the Wii Nunchuk) up to 20mm (the SplitFish Dual SFX Frag PRO Wireless).


Features:
  • Improves Grip, Feel, Sensitivity and Comfort
  • Helps Prevent Finger Slip
  • Easy to Install / Remove / Reuse
  • Restores Worn Down Analog Grips
  • Each Pack Contains 4 Grip-Its (Enough for Two Controllers)
  • Tested with:
    • PS3 OEM (DualShock, SIXAXIS)
    • Xbox 360 OEM
    • Wii OEM (Nunchuk)
    • PS2 OEM
    • Xbox OEM
    • PS3: SplitFish FragFX v2
    • PS3: Logitech Cordless Freedom

Drawbacks & Problems::

There is the aforementioned difficulty in getting the Grip-Its to sit... just... right. However, unlike, say, screen protectors, there is no real penalty for putting the Grip-It on not-quite-right. You can either sort of exert pressure in the desired direction with your thumb to slowly edge the Grip-It in place, or simply remove the Grip-It from the Analog Stick by sort of rolling it back off, and try again. Neither of these re-seating or centering methods seem to cause any damage to the rubber Grip-Its.

I found the Grip-Its to work perfectly with the PS3 controllers, which feature Analog Sticks that are rounded outward (convex) on the top. The Grip-It Analog Stick covers easily pulled tight over these, providing an excellent grip-enhancing layer over the original Analog Sticks. However, the 360 controller features Analog Sticks with tops that are rounded inward (concave), providing a slight impression in which your thumb is supposed to "sit" ever so slightly. Of the two such sticks, I found that the Grip-It formed a slight air-pocket between itself and one of the Analog Sticks, while the other seemed to seal against the Analog Stick and kept the air out, conforming to the convex shape. This is a very minor issue, as both of them will stay convex for at least a while after pushing down on the stick, but I felt it was worth mentioning as a difference between the fit on these two controllers. As a side note, I can't really comment on how the Grip-It would or wouldn't fit third party controllers on the market. If you have access to an original controller and the Analog Sticks on your third party controller appear to be exactly the same shape and size as the PS3 or Xbox 360 controllers' Analog Sticks, then there's a good chance it will fit and, at the low price of around $5 USD, it's worth giving it a shot.

All-in-all, the Grip-Its go on without too much trouble, stay on without any fear of accidentally coming off, remove easily enough when you want to re-center them or take them to another controller, and provide a more "sticky" grip without the introduction of any adhesive or residue that could be implied by the word "sticky." If you're looking to reduce the chance of your thumbs slipping off the Analog Stick on your OEM PS3 or Xbox 360 gamepad, then Grip-It is just what you've been looking for.


-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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