Review: Custom Controllers from Hisho Controllers

There are times that we love to do reviews of products created by smaller companies or maybe artists or something in between. Today we have a review of one such scenario in the form of customized controllers from Hisho Controllers. He was kind enough to take in one of our trusty Sega Saturn model 2 controllers and give it the treatment. However, since the time of me receiving the unit to review, Hisho has had health issues that have caused him to cease production on custom controllers. I wanted to do my due diligence anyhow and show off his great job and still do the review as promised. I discuss this more below.

Unboxing Video:


  • Commissions. First off, the best positive that can be noted is that Hisho does custom commissions. And what I mean by that is that he isn’t one of those guys that only sells controllers that he has already done up and if you like them, you buy them. He will absolutely do custom commissions and requests. He’ll work with you and make certain he has a full understanding of what it is that you are looking for in the final product. This controller was made exactly to my specifications and not his and he didn’t talk down to me at all about what I wanted.
  • Great price. Nowadays people are wanting controllers painted up that are definitely smarter controllers than the one that I had painted for this review. So usually Hisho charges his customers no more than $170 on average. The reason being is because there is so much to take apart and keep handy and to not disturb during disassembly and reassembly. I believe that this is a great deal altogether. Although it may make sense if he also drops the cost down to $150 if you have a controller that you want to ship him the shell of after taking it apart yourself.
  • Turnaround time. The man quoted me a 3 hour turnaround time. Now, naturally, this is not how long it took in total. There were shipping days in between, but he still knocked it out of the park getting it done and back as quickly as he could. My controller wasn’t a new-fangled controller. It was just a board with buttons encased in a shell, like they used to make them. So getting it opened and closed in a timely manner was also on his side. I can’t state that an XBOX One Elite Controller would be as quick to disassemble for instance, but it still goes to show that he knows what he is capable of and can estimate, fairly accurately, how long it will take him.
  • Buttons. Buttons still work and they work well. Now, he didn’t paint the buttons, obviously. In fact, that’s not even what I’m talking about at all. What I’m talking about was my concern about the paint being too thick. I thought that maybe if it came back to me with a thick layer of paint on it that the buttons would rub against it. This is definitely not the case whatsoever. The face buttons glide up and down in the proper way. That also goes for the shoulder buttons as well as the Start button. The D-Pad still rolls the way it should when playing fighting games and it works great with platformers. Everything operates as it should!
  • Consistent Color. The color being the same around the whole controller was another concern of mine. I had personally painted stuff in the past and I am awful at it. But nevertheless, I thought that maybe other people would be having the same issues that I had with painting. And by that, I’m referring specifically to the paint not being the same thickness across the whole device. But Hisho came through and proved me wrong once again. The controller has an even coat all over and I couldn’t see any of the original color, tones, or gloss that was underneath.
  • Consistent Texture. In the very same way that I didn’t have consistent color on my own personal paint jobs, I also didn’t have a consistent texture. So unsurprisingly, Hisho sent me my Sega Saturn controller with a consistent texture all over. There were zero rough or scratchy patches like when I custom painted my old 360, for example. There was also no tacky places to speak of on the paint since he cured it fully. Below is a picture of it once it was out of the curing machine. Props to him for not half-assing it and having the proper tools, hardware, and paint to do the job right the first time.
  • Paint Choice. Lastly, by choosing a matte paint, I was able to get a great feel and texture to it. If you are a sweaty handed gamer, a matte controller is probably the way I would recommend going. His matte paint feels so good to the touch, not chalky whatsoever. Hisho’s matte topcoat really gave this controller the finishing touch that I was hoping for. I dislike glossy surfaces for so many reasons. He rose to the challenge to make certain that not only was my paint even on all sides, that the whole controller was smooth, but that also I got the topcoat of my choice and that that also was even and smooth on all sides. I am simply truly impressed by what this man can do out of his workspace!
During the process.


  • Due to the paint being so…thick?…the small words in the plastic are harder to make out. Maybe this isn’t the fault of the paint, but Sega rather, and their choice to make the raised words so small and barely raised at all. Now am I mad that the Sega Saturn logo is covered? No. I feel like I love the matte red so much more than I care about the logo on the controller.  Now, will this issue exist on other controllers that Hisho makes, maybe yours? It’s hard to say for certain. Again, my Sega Saturn controller has raised words, not all controllers do. But it is something that I personally experienced and so I have to report on it.

Final Thoughts:

Now, I don’t know if I was special or if Hisho always does this for his customers. But he totally threw in a dope D-Pad pin, so I added it to my collection. Just wanted to add in my gratitude for this. Also, this review was a long time coming. It happened that I got the controller back at a difficult time and Hisho didn’t bombard me with angry messages. So I just wanted to personally thank him for his patience (it’s honestly been 4 months) and his professionalism. These are attributes anyone running a business should have. Since Hisho has had to stop his love of painting, I hope you visit his Twitter page down below, follow him, and encourage him to do other controller mods. He’s already trying his hand at LED mods, so stop by and tweet at him that he should do custom controllers using existing shells, buttons, paracords, and LEDs!

With all of that out of the way, what are some of my final thoughts of the controller he sent back to me? Well, when I asked Hisho to do a matte red controller and nothing else, he pointed out that it was a unique request, but a simple one and was able to quote me a turnaround time. So he was able to express, very matter of factly, that while the request wasn’t a really over the top one, it still was something he was willing to do. Meaning even if your request is simple (like mine) or over the top, he’ll probably rise to the challenge. And as you can see, he not only did it, he did it with only one downside and he probably wasn’t even at fault for that!

The final product got back to me quickly and the prices that were discussed shouldn’t be terribly off-putting to anyone who has had custom controllers done in the past.

Want to reach out to Hisho Controllers? Use Twitter 😀

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