For testing of this gaming device, I played the new smash hit Bioshock. Using the device at first seemed a little weird. This is because for as long as I can remember I have used the a, w, s, d keys to move around while playing fps. I figured I would go ahead and use it a little while and see if I was able to adjust to the new controller. After roughly an hour of gameplay, I was doing better than I was at first, but it was still pretty bad. The default controls contained no button to jump, thought this was easily fixed using the software provided. With this software, the user can program each button to perform what they want it to. There are 11 functional buttons with a toggle switch to go between three different ‘profiles.’ There are 33 programmable buttons which seem to be plenty to do anything. Though the ability to switch between the various presets is nice, changing between them becomes bothersome. Some people who use gaming pads have no problem with gameplay. This is because there are fewer unnecessary buttons to concentrate on. After the hour or so of playing, I did realize that my hand didn’t hurt from using the device, thus supporting the ‘ergonomic’ claim.
The Genius ErgoMedia 500 has many great features, and is ergonomic as the name implies. Compared to other game pads and devices that I have seen previously, this definitely seems to have better features. The backlight, which allows keys to be seen in the dark, is definitely a great feature for those gamers who play with the lights off. To prevent wires from running all over the place, the ErgoMedia has its own headphone and microphone port on it. This would also eliminate the need of reaching around to the back of the computer. Overall the Ergo Media 500 would be a good investment of $40 if you enjoy using game pads.