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CRKD Neo S Controller

The creators of the very first Guitar Hero have pushed out the Neo S controller for Nintendo Switch (and PC) and Pete's hands are cramping...

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Hotshot CRKD is behind last year's success Nitro Deck and there is no doubt that the hype has been great regarding their new Bluetooth box, Neo S. CRKD is owned by Freemode Go, which in turn is owned by Swedish Embracer and behind Freemode and the creation of Singtrix, Nitro Deck and the new Neo S are the people who developed the very first Guitar Hero game on behalf of Activision. A long history in the world of gaming accessories, in other words, which makes it even harder to understand why this controller has the same ergonomics as a regular old torture device. Say goodbye to the backpack world's answer to the thumbscrew.

CRKD Neo S Controller

Neo S is a wireless hand controller compatible with your mobile phone, your PC or Nintendo Switch. It comes equipped with Hall sensors for both the analogue sticks which means that "stick drift" will fortunately never be a problem. Something that Sony and Microsoft (not to mention Nintendo) really need to get on board with, now. It costs £50, houses two levers and 14 buttons including triggers that can be adjusted depending on how long the journey down to the maximum pressed position should be, according to your very personal taste (of course).

All this is good and the controller works great. It shakes, if you like. It's nimble, the buttons are distinctive and of good quality, you can programme certain buttons, activate an old-fashioned turbo function and I think the price is affordable considering that there are Hall sensors here.

"Neo S is a fusion of nostalgia and modern technology, offering an elevated gaming and collectible experience. Drawing inspiration from today's sleek sophistication of cutting- edge mobile design, Neo S seamlessly combines the charm of yesteryear with the cutting-edge appeal of today. Whether you're a seasoned gamer or a casual player, Neo S transcends being just a controller - it's a statement, an art piece, and the perfect gaming companion for console and PC gaming."

This is an ad:
CRKD Neo S Controller

From a purely design point of view, I would definitely not call this controller "art". It's not a statement, either. I like the mix of gold and dark red plastic, it reminds me of Intellivision and the Japanese version of the Famicom, but it's not particularly attractive. It is also not so well built that it gives any premium feeling. It doesn't feel "expensive" or lavish once it's in your hands, unfortunately. This is despite the fact that it works perfectly well. The biggest problem is the basic shape, which is more reminiscent of an NES Controller than anything from the 2000s. Designing a modern controller as a rectangular plate with no indentations for the inside of the thumbs, palms or "wings" to grip is, to my mind, completely absurd. I have managed to play for about 25 minutes at a time with the Neo S before suffering from cramps and this must be compared with, for example, Dual Sense, which I can easily use for five hours, straight, without the slightest feeling of discomfort.

CRKD Neo S Controller

And that's where we end up, here at the end. This is not a bad controller and I appreciate the Hall sensors and the feel of the buttons but I just can't recommend a box with the ergonomics offered here. It just doesn't work for me.

This is an ad:
CRKD Neo S Controller
05 Gamereactor UK
5 / 10
+
Stylish retro design, Hall sensors in both analogue levers, affordable
-
Terribly unpleasant form factor that creates cramps in masses, slightly plastic
overall score
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CRKD Neo S Controller

CRKD Neo S Controller

HARDWARE. Written by Petter Hegevall

The creators of the very first Guitar Hero have pushed out the Neo S controller for Nintendo Switch (and PC) and Pete's hands are cramping...



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