SplitFish FragFx Shark Review
Splitfish is the only hardware maker right that continues to surprise and confuse me. Its line of hybrid game controllers for the Mac/PC and PS3 continues to offer a nice versatile option that isn’t quite a gamepad or a high performance gaming mouse. The FragFX Shark is the company’s latest offering. Comprised of a left hand game controllers and a right handed wireless mouse and mousepad, the product manages to hit every requirement I have for gaming utility while still looking and feeling natural across the two gaming platforms.
I’m a PC gamer at heart. I prefer the precision of the mouse and keyboard combination when I’m attempting to snipe my enemies. Lately I’ve found myself playing more and more FPS on my PS3 with games like Medal of Honor. While Medal of Honor is not the best modern shooter out there, to me the controls and accuracy of the game controller are a big reason I find multiplayer combat frustrating. (That and the wonky Battlefield weapon physics). So in order to test the Shark I popped in Medal of Honor and put the hybrid controller to the test.
The FragFX Shark consists of a nunchuck-like left hand controller (the Fragchuck) containing analog stick, d-pad and three trigger buttons. The grip is well moulded and comfortable to hold and I found that the position of the analog stick was well placed for thumb control. The three trigger buttons, which also offer a rapid-fire option worked well, but Medal of Honor was not the best game for testing them.
The included mouse replaces the right analog control while adding the four PS3 action buttons (X, circle, triangle and square) to the inside left side of the mouse. The mouse’s traditional two buttons serve as R1 and R2 buttons and there is a scroll wheel as well. Using the mouse to control movement in the game and clicking to fire took a little getting used to. Something about a mouse control automatically equates to mouse/keyboard control so the fragchuck controller felt odd at first.
Once I got used to this novel approach though I found my accuracy going up considerably in my PS3 shooters. The mouse features a 1750 DPI laser and using the included mousepad ensured that the response was good. The FragFX Shark also offers the ability to swap buttons and sticks to more naturally fit your gameplay. I played with these features but in the end found I preferred the default mode.
As a PC controller the Shark is a good gaming mouse. The 2.4 Ghz dongle is a bit sizable but offered pretty good range and fast response when tested on my PC. I never truly found a need to use the fragchuck when playing on the PC and frankly the Shark didn’t seem to force me to. Each of the pieces are powered by 2 AA batteries (not included) and have idle power down ability as well as an on/off switch to conserve battery life.
I also tested the Shark on my Mac to investigate the claims that the device had plug n play support for the platform and after inserting the dongle and firing up Torchlight under steam I was clicking my way to mad loot in no time. Again, I never found the features or extra buttons on the fragchuck as a good replacement for the keyboard but the ability to swap from Mac to PC to PS3 gives this controller some flexibility above and beyond the traditional game add-on.
- Multi-platform support (Mac, PC, PS3)
- Comfortable design
- Responsive Wireless mouse
- On the PC I just didn’t need the Fragchuck
- Does not include rechargeable batteries