CES 2012 may have been dominated by OLED and progressively "Smart"er TVs, but there's one product that caught our eye that wasn't quite as big an announcement, but as tasty nonetheless; gaming peripheral manufacturer Mad Catz has joined forces with the Major League Gaming Pro Circuit to create a joypad that all hardcore gamers worldwide will be drooling over.
The Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller is shaped like an Xbox 360 control pad, even if you buy the PS3 version (professional gamers, like us, prefer that form factor), but it is fully customisable, so you can set the thumbsticks, D-pad or weight (in the hand) however you like.
The face- and sideplates can be removed and swapped out for new ones, with shiny and matt black options in the pack, however it is what is under the fascia that's more important. Once removed, you can see some markings near all of the thumb modules, which signify that they can be taken out and replaced.
Coming with the controller are two sets of PS3 DualShock-style analogue thumbsticks, two that ape the Xbox 360's, a DualShock-style D-pad and an Xbox 360-style D-pad. You can then mix and match all of these components to make the controller fit your exact specifications. The modules are incredibly well built and sturdy (more so than their official equivalents, we'd say), and the company plans to release add-ons of all shapes and sizes as and when the pro-gamers request.
And that's not all. Like with a customised set of darts or snooker cue for serious players, the MLG Controller can be weighted to a player's ideal specification. As it is wired (wireless is just not as responsive for tournament play), the battery compartment at the back can be unclipped and small weights can be added or removed to give the correct balance. It may sound like overly obsessive stuff, but you only need to hold one for a second to get it.
You may even require different balances and configurations for different games or genres, and for this the controller is perfect. Indeed, even if you're only half serious about your gaming, we're pretty sure, from our CES fondle, that the Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller will help improve scores dramatically, no matter the game.
Of course, this doesn't come cheap... but surprisingly less than we expected. It is currently available in the US for $99.99, which could translate to £89.99 in the UK in the near future, we're told. But, even from our brief dabble, we reckon it is worth every penny.