After reading and watching multiple reviews I picked up a Zen Pro controller on sale from Target. With all the hype about GuliKit’s Hall Effect joysticks I was excited to take them for a spin. Unfortunately I never got that opportunity.
Dead After Arrival
Reviews on Reddit indicated that lag and other controller issues were resolved in a recent firmware update. The fully functional controller turned into an external drive for my computer into which I could drop an update. I did this and then the controller was stuck. No amount of resets and retries would help.
Mac Users Need Not Apply
Gulikit provides two separate firmware updates for different chipsets in the controller, and one of them requires a Windows installer. Emailing support about the other one yielded direction to only run the update on a Windows machine. Something I do not own.
VirtualBox Worked Poorly
As a stop gap solution I attempted to install the free VirtualBox virtualization software along with Windows 11 (and then 10). It presented the following issues:
- Windows 11 would not start at all.
- Windows 10 installed but refreshed horrifically slow on Mac, allegedly kneecapped by Mac’s virtualization framework.
- Finally it failed to recognize the USB device from within VirtualBox.
Nintendo’s Pro Controller Remains My Favorite
I was surprised to learn that Nintendo’s Pro Controller now works in MacOS, so this negated some of the impetus for trying the Gulikit. Despite having purchased mine in 2016 it remains comfortable, with no perceptible stick drift. Nintendo’s controller calibration tool indicates nearly no dead zone. Its firmware updates directly without issues from my Switch.
Other Impressions of GuliKit
- Great feeling and heft.
- The buttons were generally good quality, minus the bumpers.
- Metal sticks mean no plastic from grinding them against the controller during games.