XtendPlay Review: Ergonomically Correct For Your Pleasure

You know those standard controllers that came with your Xbox 360 and PS3, as much as you may love them they are not designed for long play sessions.  Your hands want to naturally be in an open palm position and will strain after holding them in a clenched grip for a period of time.  So what is a gamer to do when they want to play for hours at a time?  The XtendPlay is trying to solve this ergonomic nightmare.

While some of you may be perfectly happy with your controllers the way they are, I can testify that after 3-5 hours of gaming late on a Friday night, my hands feel sore and may even cramp up after I put the controller down.  I don’t like the idea of having to add an extra piece of equipment onto my controller but being aware that my hands hurt and may get worse with age, I was willing to give the XtendPlay a try.

The XtendPlay is specifically designed for either the PS3 (blue color) or the Xbox 360 (green color) stock controller.  So no third party controllers here.  Also concerning the Xbox 360 controller, you cannot fit in a chat pad, but you can use a headset as long as the plug is a low-profile “L” shape like the newer wired headsets packaged with 360’s.

Both controllers fit snugly into the XtendPlay, so it takes a little bit of force before they finally pop into place.  The attachment itself is made out of a proprietary material called fleXlite™, which looks like a NERF foam but feels light and soft to the touch.  Along the sides and back are small grooves that are meant to allow air to pass between your hand and the attachment, preventing sweat from forming.

I began my first test with the PS3 controller and played some Killzone 3.  I wanted to try an FPS because in addition to claiming to be more comfortable for your hands, the device is also suppose to help with precision due to less strain being forced on them.  I am definitely far from a skilled player at the FPS genre so I figured it would be a good place to look for improvement.  You hold the controller near the top and not around the midsection so you can still easily rest your fingers on the trigger buttons.  The long body of the XtendPlay is meant to rest against your stomach.  I found the whole thing to feel rather large in my hands at first but noticed very little weight gain, and when I had it in my lap it all felt a little lighter.

Control of the analog sticks became more about fine movements rather the pushes and pulls.  This was because my thumbs could now gently rest on top of each stick rather then be part of the controller grip.  I saw an increase in the number of headshots I could achieve but my kill/death ratio remained the same (at least I didn’t get worse).  After about 2 hours I moved onto Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for some heated Vs. action.  My final play session was ~4 hours total with the PS3 XtendPlay, with the end result being that my hands were not sore.

Moving onto the Xbox 360 XtendPlay the following day I had the same initial feeling.  It is obvious the change will take some getting used to but it is not obtrusive.  In fact I always soon forgot it was even there after I got deep into my game.  With the 360 I started my test off with some casual Full House Poker on XBLA.  While not too intensive on controls I will often play the game for 2-3 hour sittings.  This time was no different and it was a breeze to get through.  Next I moved onto Gears 2 for again the FPS experience.  I got the same benefits I found on the PS3 with a noticeable improvement to my accuracy.

Overall I would say the XtendPlay is a well made and thought out product.  It does exactly what the company claims and can have added benefits to your gaming skill.  My only complaint is that they do not come in any other colors then the ones for their respective system.  I would recommend these to anyone who wants to get more comfort out of their gaming.  When you get older your hands may even thank you when all your other joints start falling apart.  Each XtendPlay is sold for $19.99 and are designed by the people at XWerx.

The XtendPlay for both the Xbox 360 and PS3 was provided to SitSam.com for review.

Written by Bryan

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XtendPlay Review: Ergonomically Correct For Your Pleasure, 6.9 out of 10 based on 7 ratings

One Comment

  1. […] you remember awhile back, I had the opportunity to play with both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of XtendPlay.  These controller attachments do indeed help with the ergonomic issues that develop from playing […]

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