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    Gamertell Review: PDP’s B.O.S.S. WiiMote controller shell

    by PJ Hruschak on Feb 15, 2010 at 03:37 PM

    Product: B.O.S.S. (aka BOSS; Big Oversized Super Shell)
    Price: $9.99
    Rating:  Two thumbs up; 90; A-; * * * * out of five.
    Pros: Improves overall fell of the WiiMote, makes it easier to hold and larger button sizes. In some instances also improved perceived button sensitivity. A decent price.
    Cons: Covers the attachment port and is intended to be used only in the horizontal position.
    Overall: A bargain buy for any Wii owner, especially those who play a lot of platformers.

    This is one of those instances where the name has it spot-on. The BOSS is, indeed, a big oversized super shell. And in a good way.

    Livin’ Large

    Developed by PDP (Performance Designed Products LLC), the BOSS is basically a colorful, plastic shell that fits over a standard WiiMote.

    At its widest the shell adds 1 1/2 in. to the width, 3/4 in. to the height (when holding the WiiMote with the Power button at the top) and approximately 1/4 in. to the thickness. The WiiMote snaps into the shell and is held in place by three plastic tabs, one oval shaped and two that lock into the WiiMote’s base. The WiiMote is removed by pulling a spring-loaded section of the back, which pulls out the two mini plastic tabs.

    There is a slot to expose the WiiMote’s status lights, speaker holes that line up with the mini speaker and a translucent plastic for the remote singal to pass through. The bottom of the WiiMote, including the B trigger button and battery access, is exposed.

    The text on the face of the BOSS indicates it is meant to be held with two hands, with the longest dimension from hand-to-hand, much like the Classic Wii controller and older console controllers.

    On the face are larger-than-WiiMote buttons that also slightly rearrange the configuration to an older style controller scheme, putting the 1 and 2 buttons at a 45-degree angle from each other instead of on the same horizontal line. All other buttons and the + control pad are in te same locations, accessed by larger-than-the-WiiMote’s buttons.

    More Than a Handful

    It’s rare that give comment concerning other reviews in my own but I’ll make a rare exception here to say this: They are all (well, almost all) wrong. In nearly every review they refer to the BOSS as making the WiiMote too large to handle, even for adult-sized hands.

    Not true.

    I found the BOSS to make the WiiMote much more comfortable to hold, especially for long-term gaming, when being used in the intended orientation. Yes, if you try to play holding it like a TV remote control for along period of time your hand may begin to cramp due to the extra girth but, even then, the contours of the BOSS make it easier to grab.

    The rounded edges fit perfectly into your palms, placing the +-shaped control pad and the 1 and 2 buttons at just the right width away from the edge. The design obviously takes advantage of the years of ergonomic hit-and-miss from the now classic style controllers whereas the WiiMote still feels a but cramped in my hands with buttons placed way close to each other, causing many miss-presses during active gaming.

    As for younger gamers, my 3-year-old always wants to use the BOSS when playing the Wii. I’m sure the bright red design make it a bit more attractive than the sterile while, naked WiiMote but, even then, he has hardly an issue holding on, pressing buttons and controlling on-screen avatars or targeting reticules.

    Controls worked as normal, with hardly any extra effort being required to press the buttons, with the larger 1 and 2 buttons and upward curved + pad improving sensitivity. I especially appreciate that the + and – middle buttons are more recessed in this design than on the face of the WiiMote. This worked wonderfully with platformers including New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

    The only downfall might be that the peripheral port at the base is covered by the BOSS, meaning you won’t be able to use the Nunchuck, Wii MotionPlus or Classic Controller attachments.

    The BOSS of You

    This relatively inexpensive and colorful shell adds life and comfort to the rather bland WiiMote.

    The design is certainly intended for horizontal use and, despite other reviews, ultimately proves neither too large nor to bulky. Curves and light weight keep this an ergonomic delight to use.

    If comparing it to the Wii Classic Controller, keep in mind that this remains wireless and the Classic Controller still requires it to be tethered to the WiiMote and it is about half the price.

    Photo Gallery [Big Oversized Super Shell @ Gamertell] Site [PDP]

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