Gamers that take their pastime seriously and are looking to receive an edge when it comes to competitive play on PS4 should note the unique modular design of the Thrustmaster eSwap Pro Controller. Manufactured by Thrustmaster, a company best known for its high-end flight stick and steering wheel peripherals, its inaugural conventional gamepad is massively customizable and will set European buyers back a premium €169.99. No North American launch or pricing has been announced at this time.
Thrustmaster shared a trailer offering an in-depth look at the innovative piece of hardware that’s been officially licensed by Sony. Utilizing a wired connection to cut down on latency, the eSwap features most of the luxuries that players familiar with professional-grade gamepads have come to expect. These include programmable rear buttons to ensure that the right thumb can stay on the analog stick (instead of hopping across to hit face buttons), swappable sticks and triggers to cater to individual players’ needs, and interchangeable button mappings that can be toggled on a whim.
So far so familiar, but what really sets the eSwap apart is its namesake. The controller boasts a modular design that allows users to reposition both analog sticks, the d-pad, and the face buttons. This even allows for the wholesale replacement of unused controller elements, for example ditching both sticks in favor of integrating additional purchasable buttons when playing a 2D fighting game. This would allow for faster reaction speeds with less thumb travel to, though Thrustmaster will be selling a range of bundles geared towards boosting player performance across different genres.
Additionally, individual modules will be sold separately and in different color and design schemes, so devotees can really go all out on making the device their own. The modularity of the controller even extends to elements like the side grips and touch pad for the ultimate customization.
The Thrustmaster eSwap Pro Controller is scheduled to launch in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Russia, India, and Oceania on November 5, 2019. A US release date is currently unknown, though eager players could always elect to import one. There’s also the Astro C40 Pro Controller, available worldwide, which has similar modular functionality and has been received very well.