Review: FragFX Shark for Xbox 360. PC Precision for Console?

So how well does Splitfish bring over the FragFX Shark to the Xbox 360?

The Frag FX Shark 360 is Splitfish’s answer to “an almost perfect PC mouselike FPS experience for gamers on the XBOX 360.” For a long time PC first person shooter veterans accustomed to the precision of aiming with a mouse, this really could be the difference between a higher kill death ratio. However, after weeks of testing multiple games in multiple genres the Frag Fx isn’t quite the fit for every shooter. The top shooters I’ve played on the Xbox 360 include Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops, Halo Reach, Crysis 2 and other third party titles. It’s important to note that every game’s aiming mechanics are different and all do not perform equally well. In short, you’ll be buying the FragFX Shark for games like Call of Duty that have relatively optimal turn speeds and deadzone shapes.

The entry price of the Frag Fx Shark 360 is $89.00 not including the required Xbox 360 Wired Controller ($20 – $25) for authentication via dongle. For someone who switches out wired controllers from PC to 360, this a hassle that must be overcome every time controllers are switched out. The features and feel of the Frag Fx 360 are mostly the same as the Frag Fx for the PS3 which does not require an extra wired Xbox 360 Controller. If you’d like detailed impressions and video on the comfort of the Frag Fx Shark PS3 refer to my older review. The only difference between both products are the face buttons and that left and right click buttons have a ‘sticky’ feeling to them which is off-putting.

Each game’s aiming mechanic is different depending on deadzone, level of sensitivity, customization, and etc. On the onset, the FragFX Shark 360 opted out of having firmware updates starting with the FragFX Shark on PS3 which I reviewed. This simplifies every customization so that they can be made on the fly on the peripheral itself, but cuts down on future compatibility with other software that require deadzone tweaks and even more increased sensitivity to counteract low turn speeds in games like Gears of War 3, something that even competing products such as the XIM 3 are having a difficult time with.

Micromovents vs. Macromovements

For each game you use the Shark, you’ll want to adjust in game sensitivity all the way up to counteract the slow turnspeeds. This helps looking around while not in ADS mode (iron sights). The most trouble in setting your game’s sensitivity is using the built in on the fly dead zone dial. As the dial is increased (1-10) you’ll feel the mouse become more tolerant of your input. This effect is similar to lowering the sensitivity of your mouse in Windows and helps with Micromovents that help with headshots and moving targets.

Also, I could never find the right adjustment for most games I’ve played. For example in Modern Warfare 3, I struggled with the recommended (3-5) setting. These settings were not enough to keep the balance between looking around and having a responsive iron sight experience. Perhaps the solution to these problems is profile settings for each game that you can adjust via PC such as the XIM 3. While in the process of simplifying the Frag Fx Shark, the mouse is severely handicapped by competitors that provide what PC players actually love, options. This isn’t a controller for the casual player, it’s supposed to be for hardcore PC players and Splitfish has lost sight of that. There needs to be more options.

If you’re willing to spend $89.99 for a few functional games like Crysis 2 or the Call of Duty Series, then your purchase is somewhat redeemed. If you’re looking to play almost every shooter under the sun on Xbox 360 with the perfect precision of a mouse on PC, then you might want to throw $60 more at the XIM3 (Xbox Input Machine) which does the same thing but with significantly better results.

Key Features: (From Splitfish.com)· Play with the mouse on the XBOX 360* as you would do on a PC
· Plug and Play
· Full XBOX 360, PC and MAC support
· NEW 50h + play time
· NEW 500h + power save standby
· 1 AA battery per unit (requires only 2 AA batteries per set – batteries not included)
· Fast access to special features (eg macro, rapid-fire, button swap, stick swap, etc.)
· Brand new wireless 2.4 GHz technology
· Easy in-controller setup (no more firmware updates required)
· On the fly dead zone adjustment wheel
· SixAxis support

Verdict: C-

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