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Keep it cool

Maybe you don’t have a problem with sweaty palms during gameplay. But if you do, here’s the product of your dreams.

I can’t help but wonder about the focus groups Nyko must have studied while testing out this product. I keep picturing a huge room full of teenage boys, with controllers flying out of their hands because their grips are so ineffective from all of the palm sweat. If that picture sounds familiar, then the Airflo controller may just be what you’ve been waiting for all these years.

To be honest, I don’t sweat much while playing games, and when I do, I’m content with wiping my hands on a pant leg or couch cushion. I can see how this may be off-putting to some people, however, so Nyko’s Airflo must be filling some need. What it is, in short, is a standard gamepad with fans in the grips that cool your hands as you play. An ingenious if not altogether necessary advance in controller design, but much to my surprise, it actually works pretty well.

The pad feels a bit weird at first, if only because the hand grips are slightly bigger and have a mesh covering that allows the air to flow though. The buttons feel good and responsive, the vibration function is strong, and the fan feels very refreshing. There are two settings, one quieter but less strong, and one stronger but pretty loud. If you crank up the volumes of your games through a home theatre system, you may not notice the added noise on the fans highest setting, but it’s loud enough that I doubt I’d ever set the fan that high.

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I doubt I’d ever use this controller again at all, or at least not on my PS2, since the Dual Shock that comes standard is slightly more comfortable and tighter. It’s one of the more comfortable designs for a PC pad, and if you have a problem with excessive hand sweat, you’ll love the Airflo.

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