The Pro BFG controller – aka the PS5 one – from the Victrix line is a seriously impressive controller when you list out all of its features. Unfortunately, in real-world use, it doesn’t quite live up to its potential.
It has compatibility with PS4, PS5, and PC. Straight out of the box, it's obvious that the controller is well put together using high-quality materials. It’s a little lighter feeling than the DualSense Edge from Sony, their premium PS5 controller, and a little less expensive, though not by much. The hard case has all the extras you could ever want for your controller, like an extra long braided USB cable, wireless dongle for PC, two extra D-pads of different designs, thumb sticks of varying heights, and even a “FightPad” which removes a thumb stick altogether for all of you 'Tekken'/'Mortal Kombat'/'Street Fighter' fans out there. There's even a cute little hex-head screwdriver to take apart and drop in the different pieces to create your perfect controller from the options supplied. It has more buttons than a PS5 controller, even the Edge, and even the throw distance settings for L2 and R2 just like the Edge.
So you have it set up, ready to play, and try to pair it to your PS5. And here is where you face the first issue. It’s not connecting. Okay, there seem to be some switches on the front and underside. Got it. Switch one is set to PS5 mode, and switch two is set to wired mode. Nothing.
Better read the manual. At this stage, you’ve already spent more time than you expected, but hey you’re invested. You have to download the proprietary software to your PC, connect, and update the drivers and don’t forget to switch it to PC mode. But hang on, the software isn’t picking up on the controller. It is and it isn’t. It’s also not the same software suite used for the other PDP controller you have for some reason. Okay. Everything is updated, time to play. You’re connected to your PS5 through USB but for some reason still can’t get wireless working. Even when switched to wireless mode.
The Pro BFG controller is very well designed, actually, and unfortunately, it’s overdesigned. Getting it to play nice with your different platforms and through wired or wireless shouldn’t be so complicated. Yes, the DualSense Edge has PC connectivity issues, but it works no problem with the PS5. For a controller with so many great features with some intelligent designers behind them, it seems no one stopped to get it to just work first. If you don’t have a PC it seems you’re pretty much SOL if the Pro BFG doesn’t somehow recognise your PS5 on the first try. Even if you do have a PC it doesn’t mean you’re in for plain sailing.
Even if it was plug and play, if there was no setup required other than choosing how you want it to be put together, if everything else was otherwise perfect, there’s still an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. The PDP Vitrix Pro BFG doesn’t have haptic feedback in the triggers, one of the standout features of the newest generation of Sony’s controllers. Having played with this feature for so long, using a controller on a PC or PS5 without it feels unnatural. You feel so much less connected to the game than you’re used to, particularly in racing games like 'Gran Turismo 7' or 'Forza'.
This one feature, the defining feature of the PS5 controllers, sets them apart from all competition. Despite all the ways in which the Vitrix controller is better, almost every other way physically, it can’t compete with the OG.
If PDP can make this easier to set up and use, and add haptic feedback in the triggers, this will easily be the best PS5 controller on the market. Until then, it’s an expensive proof of concept for some really cool features that just don’t add up to a device worth using over what you already have.