When I was a kid I always dreamed of having a joystick to play my favorite PC games. One Christmas that dream came true when my mother finally bought me one; the model and brand I have long since forgotten. What I do remember though is that I absolutely hated it. That joystick was the bane of my PC gaming experiences because, up to this point, I had spent so much time crafting my WASD and Space bar skills that a joystick was too alien for me to really acclimate to properly with my impatient mind.
For consoles however, I will collect the odd joystick such as the Quickshot or Beeshu joysticks for the NES, the odd Sega Genesis flight yolk and a slew of other joysticks I’ve come across throughout the years. That doesn’t mean that I’ll use them over the given console’s normal controller, but I think they’re nice things to add to my collection. That, dear reader, is where I introduce to you the NUBY NB-711 Playstick, for the Sony Playstation.
Shaped much like a cheap joystick of the day, the Playstick could easily fly under most people’s radar as anything other than a cheap PC joystick, that is until you notice the Playstation controller plug. Even its miserably gray color scheme doesn’t add much to let people know that this isn’t a PC joystick. I’m assuming, all things considered, this is why the Playstick didn’t sell very well and isn’t well known today.
The joystick and its base are made out of the cheap Chinese plastic we all know and loathe, with the joystick itself being slightly stiff with a very small usage radius. I would say the stiff joystick might be because this thing is so annoying to use that it was never given time to be properly broken-in. The trigger on the front of the joystick represents square, and on the back of the joystick is where you’ll find X, triangle and circle. To the Playstick’s credit the joystick and trigger do have a great clicky response when they are pressed, a benefit that does not carry throughout to the other buttons on the joystick nor on the base.
The base is where you’ll find the bulk of the problems with the Playstick. Firstly it seems this was aimed at right handed people, which could alienate some left handed people. I’m not left handed but I do see how this layout could have been slightly modified to be more universal. The base is also where you’ll find the shoulder buttons and the Start and Select buttons, none of which have the same satisfying click as the joystick or trigger.
Toward the back of the base you’ll find the customizable turbo function with a its reset button. I can’t complain about the turbo feature because I feel this may be the sole redeemable quality of this whole joystick. A feature I do find useless is the slow motion slider. Other people may find slow motion a useful option and that’s good for them, myself, I find it to be an annoyance with the game perpetually pausing and unpausing. Finishing up on the very bottom you’ll find the standard suction cups to keep this thing bolted down to any flat surface you desire. I don’t see why you would want this though, because with the way the buttons are laid out on the base you’ll need to hold it with your left hand the whole time.
After some testing I find the Playstick to be a bit too cumbersome for my liking. The joystick is digital so you won’t have the fluid movement of analog and the buttons are a bit harder to press than I expected. With racing games I found myself flying off in one direction and never really feeling like I had full control over my vehicle. In action games I felt like I was lacking control, but since some action games don’t always require split second reaction it was moderately tolerable at best. Where this joystick might shine is during fighting games for those who are more of an arcade fighting stick fan. I emphasize might because the joystick may be good for fighting games, but the button layout just isn’t good at all. Finally, since the joystick is digital I didn’t have much fun with flight games either.
What I learned about the NUBY Playstick is that I don’t enjoy using it whatsoever. With a few better design choices I think it could have been a good product, but it’s so cheaply made and designed that it is pretty forgettable. The only good things I can truly say about my NUBY Playstick is that the suction cups worked, the turbo function worked and that it is compatible with a handful of Playstation 2 games, if you’re so bold to dare try using the Playstick at all.