Too many buttons! Unfair turbo! MACROS! MACROS! The Major League Gaming community is divided over an announced ban against Razer's Onza controller. Whining about unfair controllers is as old as gaming itself—is it justified this time?
The Onza is billed as a "professional" controller, but looks fairly standard by third party peripheral standards. What's put the Onza in hot water with MLG officials (can you call someone an official if they go by "Killa KC?") is its customizable buttons. Quoth Killa:
The big issue with extra buttons is how easy it is to mod the controller without us being able to monitor it. Modders will be able to turn the extra buttons into rapid fire buttons or a macro like RRX. We cannot simply check every player's Onza controller to make sure they have not modded it. Sure, someone could do that now with a Microsoft controller, but by doing that they are removing a default button on their controller. People pay a lot of money now for modded controllers with extra buttons that will rapid fire or macro. The Onza would make it impossible for us to monitor this on the circuit.
MLG's regulations explicitly prohibit the use of "Players may not use a controller with Turbo capabilities, Button Mapping capabilities," on the ground that "Controllers with Turbo capabilities allow Players to press a button that results in their Character performing a set of actions that would normally require the Player to press the same button multiple times." So, this isn't quite the same as me in 7th grade blaming my 45th Dreamcast loss on my "broken" controller—the MLG just doesn't want cheats.
But! Irate members of the MLG forum are quick to point out that the Onza's button mapping merely relocates features of the controller—swapping your X with your left bumper, for instance—rather than allowing complex macros. Responses are mixed, and vehement: "The truth is that this kind of stupidity only makes ppl want one even more," retorts Razer co-founder Robert "Razerguy" Krakoff. Others suspect MLG is bowing to Razer rival and MLG sponsor Mad Catz, in what would be some extremely shady back room dealings. The truth behind the ban lies in here somewhere—but never underestimate a gamer's attachment to their controller of choice. [Gamers Daily News]