Nyko Air Flo Ex for the PlayStation 2

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Company: Nyko
Platform: PlayStation 2

Every craftsman needs the right tools, and every console gamer needs a decent controller. Skilled or unskilled, you just can't game without a controller hooked up to the console. Choosing a good controller is the key to comfort during gaming sessions long or short.

Kyle Ackerman

The Nyko Air Flo EX controller for the PlayStation 2 differs in two ways from the Sony stock Dualshock 2 analog controller – the grip has been reconfigured, and a ventilation system has been added to give gamers the choice of having air continually flow over the hands.

The grip alone is reason enough to recommend the PlayStation 2 Air Flo Ex over the standard Dualshock 2 controller. Speaking as a gamer with large hands, the Sony controller is small, uncomfortable, and causes hand muscles to cramp during extended play sessions. The longer grips with the slight downward curve on the Nyko controller make it considerably more comfortable, even when used for a long time. It's not just more comfortable for big gamers: FI's staff with small hands found it easier to hold as well.

While the Air Flo cooling system is this controller's gimmick, it also has all the features you expect from a controller, including dual analog control sticks, pressure sensitive analog buttons, variable vibration and an eight-way directional pad. Despite seeming like a marketing catch, the Air Flo system works well. The controller passes air through hand grips using a fan set in the body, which can be turned off or set to one of two speed settings. Even at the highest setting, it runs quietly and without irritating vibrations. Set to the lower setting, the fan noise is nearly imperceptible, while the flow of air provides a noticeable improvement in comfort. The higher setting provides more air when you have to play in a hot, humid room. Overall, the airflow system makes playing more pleasant, particularly in a hot room or for gamers with sweaty palms.

The Nyko Air Flo Ex's MSRP is $29.99, and while you can find a variety of deals or bundles, it is only slightly more than a stand-alone new Dualshock 2 controller. The difference in price is slight, but the increased comfort makes the price difference easily worthwhile. The controller provides a better grip, and the Air Flo system is more than a gimmick – it makes a difference.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on June 8, 2003 9:28 AM.

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