Razer announced it's own pro-level controller for the Xbox One at the recent PAX Prime gaming show. To compare it with Microsoft's own Elite Controller would be fair, as it's about the same price and it's most definitely targeting the same demographic.
At the IFA show in Berlin, Germany, we caught up with Razer and took a first-look at the new Wildcat.
Since this is a Razer controller, the overall look and feel is a little different to that of a regular, Microsoft Xbox One controller. It's not a massive departure from standard, but it's got a different shape to it, though the buttons are naturally all where you'd expect to find them. What's surprising is how light it is.
The weight is one of the things you notice first about the Microsoft Elite Controller. And in many ways it also helps you 'feel' where the $150 outlay has gone. The Wildcat is nothing like that, it's very light. Light doesn't equal cheap, but it's closer to the regular Xbox One controller, for sure.
Some technical specs:
- 2 shoulder Hyperesponse Multi-Function Bumpers
- 2 removable Hyperesponse Multi-Function Triggers
- 4 Hyperesponse ABXY action buttons
- 4 button Quick Control Panel
- Optional trigger stops for rapid-fire
- Zero slow-turn analog joysticks
- 3.5 mm audio port for stereo audio output and microphone input
- Optional rubber palm grips
- Quick-release cable feature
- Carrying case
- Detachable 3 m / 10 ft lightweight braided fiber cable with Micro-USB connector
- Approximate size : 106 mm / 4.17" (Length) x 156 mm / 6.14" (Width) x 66 mm / 2.60" (Height)
- Approximate weight (without cable) : 260 g / 0.57 lbs
Around the back of the Wildcat there are two triggers, both of which can be removed, though you'll need a screwdriver to do it. There are also a couple of switches that you can activate to shorten the travel on the left and right triggers individually. Down the bottom you've got a control pad that besides handling your headset audio can also be used to remap the buttons.
One thing the Wildcat has that the Elite Controller does not, is the ability to remap buttons right on the controller without the use of an app. The ability to do that on the fly has its appeal.
Other things worth noting, then. The Wildcat feels pretty well made, though perhaps not quite to the level the Elite Controller reaches. The palm grips are included as standard, though not installed. If you want them you can add them yourself, and we're told that the adhesive is pretty strong. So once it's on, it's on. But not everyone will want them, so kudos to Razer for giving us the choice.
The extra triggers on the back and the thumbsticks are made from reinforced materials, with aluminum round the back and forged stainless on the front. So it's set up to take some serious use. And of course, it'll work just fine with Windows 10, with the exception of the audio controls.
So, what do we think? It's too early to say for sure, but the Razer Wildcat looks like a decent option for the serious Xbox One gamer. But broader than that, it's great to see these types of peripherals starting to hit the market for the gamers that crave them. E-Sports is big business, and we're delighted the Xbox One is getting it's share of the action. It's set to launch in mid-October for $150.