While most of us play games purely for their entertainment value, an elite few get their game on while calling themselves “professionals.” These superstars of simulated battle make the rounds in various tournaments, including, most notably, Major League Gaming Pro Circuit championships. Now those digital athletes, as well as the masses of seasoned “amateurs,” can compete with professional (or at least officially licensed) equipment — we’re talking about gear like Mad Catz’ Major League Gaming Pro Circuit Controller for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. This Major League gamepad promises to give competitive gamers a professional, customizable edge over their opponents with swappable “ProModule” thumbsticks and d-pads — invoking the customizable spirit of Mad Catz’ transforming RAT mouse. We gave the PlayStation 3 edition a chance to make its rodent cousin proud. Read on to see if it lives up to its professional branding.
If we didn’t already know those cats were mad about customizable controllers, we just got a reminder: the Mad Catz Major League Gaming Pro-Circuit Controllers. These professional-grade PS3 and Xbox 360 controllers allow competitive gamers to adjust the gamepad’s weight and swap out key components — such as exchanging the controller’s analog stick for a D-pad. Want your PS3 controller to have a Xbox 360 layout? No problem. If the insane kitty’s ambitious Onza competitor isn’t your thing, check out the MLG Tournament Edition Fightstick, featuring the same Sanwa Denshi components used in Japanese arcade cabinets. It may not have its sibling’s stick-swapping action, but its 13-foot controller cable, classic layout, and left-right stick toggle mode (for emulating the missing analog thumbstick) still aims to please. The Arcade Fightstick can be had now at the GameShark store to the tune of $160, but the Pro-Circuit gamepads aren’t due out until closer to the end of the year.