Reviews say the Saitek X52 Flight Control System is the best joystick/throttle for flight-simulation computer games, offering comfort and more configuration options than the average PC or Mac user probably needs. The Saitek joystick includes four fire buttons, 3-D rudder twist and an eight-way hat switch. There's no force feedback (physical reaction by the joystick to various functions), but there is a separate throttle with two fire buttons, a scroll wheel and mouse controller. Though professional and user reviews say customizing the Saitek X52 game controller looks difficult, one review notes the instruction guide and software are user-friendly.
The most in-depth reviews of the Saitek X52 Flight Control System are at the gamer-centric website IGN.com and the U.K.'s IT Reviews. Reviews of the Saitek X52 game controller at PCMag.com and About.com are brief. We found about 100 user reviews at Amazon.com, some of which are by owners of previous Saitek joysticks who contrast them with the X52.
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1. IGN Gear
This gaming website gives the Saitek X52 game controller a rating of 9.1 out of 10 overall, saying it's comfortable and "looks and feels way more expensive than it is." You can customize, but rookies are advised to stick with the pre-made profiles.
Review: Saitek X52 Flight Control System Review, Gerry Block, Jan. 24, 2006
2. IT Reviews.com
The editors at IT Reviews offer an unbiased analysis of the Saitek X52 game controller. They report that the secret of success with this controller is taking the time to learn its programmable features.
Review: Saitek X52 Flight Control System Review, Editors of IT Reviews, Jan. 31, 2005
The Saitek X52 game controller gets a rating of 4.5 out of five. This brief review is part of a last-minute gifts roundup. Reviewer Peter Sucio says, "The only thing missing is the smell of airplane fuel as you head to your next dogfight."
Review: Saitek X52 Digital Flight Control System Review, Peter Sucio, Jan. 18, 2005
This brief review doesn't detail testing methods, and the overall tone is a bit too upbeat, but it does recommend the Saitek X52 game controller for gamers who are into flight simulations. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top 10 Computer Joysticks, Editors of About.com
More than 115 owners give the Saitek X52 game controller an above-average score. A few users say the X52 is difficult to program.
Review: Saitek X52 Flight Control System Reviews, Contributors to Amazon.com