The perfect PlayStation 4 controller for people with small hands

The new Hori PlayStation 4 Mini Wired Game Controller is designed with younger gamers in mind -- so we had a kid test it.

David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
Expertise Mobile accessories and portable audio, including headphones, earbuds and speakers Credentials
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David Carnoy
2 min read

My 8-year-old didn't know quite what to make of the PlayStation 4 Mini Wired Game Controller.

"What's that?" he asked.

I told him that it was mini PlayStation controller made for people with smaller hands -- for people like him. It cost less ($30, £25, $AU40), was smaller, but was missing a few features. Like the touchpad (the small rectangular button toward the top is a reasonably good substitute), light bar, speaker and headphone jack. And there's no vibration or motion sensing. Color choices included blue, red and black. He had the blue in his hands, but he didn't need me to tell him that.

"Why do I need it?" he asked. "I like the regular controller. It's got the wings on the side that make it easy to hold. And there's no cord."

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The young tester. 

David Carnoy/CNET

I wasn't sure why he needed it, I said. But he should give it a try and tell me what he thought. I'd write up his comments.

I connected the controller to a PS4 Pro and unfurled the cable, which is 10 feet (3 meters) long. That's pretty long, but maybe not quite long enough for some people. It just reached the couch he was sitting on. He fired up Madden 18 and played a few series. 

The verdict?

"Pretty good," he said. 

"Would you use it instead of the other controller?" I asked. 

"If I had to," he replied. "It's not bad."

He didn't seem to care too much. He was calling another play. "How many stars would you give it? Out of 5 stars, with 5 being the best, how many? You can use half stars."

PlayStation 4 Mini Wired Gamepad shrinks the game controller

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"How much does it cost again?" he asked.

"30 bucks."

"Is that a lot?"

"It's not nothing," I said. "I don't want to influence your rating, but it feels a little cheap to me."

I explained that the joystick controllers didn't have a grippy finish, like the DualShock 4. They were smooth plastic. I thought it should cost a little less.

"Maybe $20 or $25," I said.

"Yeah," he responded, although I wasn't unsure whether he was in total agreement or not. He remained distracted by the game.

"So, how many stars?" I prodded after a bit. 

"I don't know. 3 or 3 and half. It's pretty good. It works."

So there you have it. A snap review of the PlayStation 4 Mini Wired Game Controller from the perspective of an 8-year-old with only some minor input from a father who tends to buy extra game controllers when they're on sale.

It's worth noting that the more feature-rich Power A Mini Wired Control for the Xbox One can be had for $24 online, so down the road you'll probably see this one for a little less as well.

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Hands-on with small hands.

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