While unknown to many gamers, the name SplitFish Gameware is an important piece of the gaming puzzle. Their line of products range from simple adapters, to 3D gaming glasses, to PlayStation 3 controller replacements.
Many products out there claim to enhance gameplay, but most turn out to be frivolous gimmicks. More than once, SplitFish’s tech has turned out to actually upgrade the way you play.
One of their recent pieces of gameware, recently released stateside after almost two years of availability abroad, MotionFX is a standalone motion-sensing adapter for the PS2 controller. It turns your Dualshock into a Sixaxis.
Out of the box, it’s literally a snap to set-up. The small booklet of instructions shows you how to snap it on, then turn it on. Depending on the amount of sensitivity you’d prefer, you’re able to adjust that as well.
Originally, I couldn’t believe the MotionFX’s claims. The sales people at my local gaming store weren’t familiar with it and didn’t know if it actually worked or not. No one had bought it yet. So I took it upon myself. I splurged. I spent a whole $10.
The thing that first surprised me was the fact that the adapter came with a cord. Which made sense, since this thing runs without batteries. It’s sort of a mixed blessing.
I followed the simple instruction and snapped it on. Running NASCAR 08, I clicked the main button and the blue and red lights turned on, letting me know it had calibrated itself. You can recalibrate and adjust the sensitivity by pressing a few buttons.
You are also able to select which stick you want to substitute the adapter for. By default it assigns it to the left thumb-stick. I started the race and away I went. I found that I had to adjust my degree of tilt to get the controls comfortable. From then on, it was just a matter of getting used to the motion sensing, since I’m a traditional gamer, who just sits back without much hand/body motion.
I made the investment in a second MotionFX and did some PlayStation 3/Sixaxis comparisions. One of the first differences we noticed was the cord — powering the device off the PS2 instead of a battery pack.
You’re probably going to have to adjust the motion sensitivity a few times to get used to the MotionFX, but you’re in for an experience that’s very similar to the Sixaxis, only on a PlayStation 2!
One of the real “wow” factors with this thing is that the MotionFX can be re-calibrated for a desired angle of center. One friend was holding it level, like a normal controller, while another tried holding it like a steering wheel.
The only real downside is the cord, but you’ll never have to worry about recharging or the batteries dying out. Also, when I’m in a menu, as I tilt the controller to navigate, it tends to rummage through the selections out of control. So I just level it off, and use the stick to make my selections.
Overall, I’d say SplitFish’s MotionFX is a must-buy for loyal PS2 owners looking for a new experience without a $400 upgrade. Like a phoenix, the PlayStation 2 just keeps coming back for more.