Gaming

Made just for the PS4

The Raiju professional controller for the PlayStation 4 has the features of Razer's mechanical keyboards and Sony's button-and-joystick layout.
The Raiju professional controller for the PlayStation 4 has the features of Razer's mechanical keyboards and Sony's button-and-joystick layout.PHOTO: RAZER

What Sony didn't make, Razer's Raiju is the controller for the console, albeit pricey

The Razer Raiju is the PlayStation 4 (PS4) professional gaming controller that Sony never built. Previously only available in the United States and Europe, it is now finally here in Asia.

Design-wise, the Raiju takes heavy inspiration from Razer's Xbox One pro controller, the Wildcat.

From the top, the Raiju and the Wildcat are somewhat similar in shape.However, the former has Sony's typical button-and-joystick layout.

You get the PS4 controller-style twin joysticks, as well as the D-Pad and action buttons with the PS button smack in the middle below the touchpad.

But, in the Raiju, there is a audio control panel not available in Sony controllers. Located at the base, it lets you change a headset's volume or mute the headset's microphone, as well as remap buttons and change profiles.

The Raiju looks like the Wildcat from the back as well. But the Raiju features another pair of bumpers beside the usual top bumpers and triggers, as well as an additional pair of triggers on the underside of the controller.

  • TECH SPECS

  • PRICE: $229.90

    CONNECTIVITY: USB

    WEIGHT: 290g (without cable)

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 5/5

    PERFORMANCE: 5/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

These additional bumpers and triggers are readily accessible with your fingers, and are fully programmable to give you that extra edge on the virtual battlefield.

There is no need for any software to remap these additional bumpers or triggers. Just hold down the remap button in front until you see the Profile Indicator below the touchpad blink.

Next, press what you wish to configure, and press the button you want to map it to. The controller will vibrate once remapping is done.

For example, I configured the underside left trigger for jumping, and the underside right trigger for shooting, in the first-person shooter Prey, which helps me to escape attacks faster while attacking the enemies.

However, the more obvious difference you will feel with the Raiju is its much-better tactile response. This is because Raiju's triggers, bumpers and action buttons utilise Razer's proprietary mechanical-switch technology. Those are what you would find on Razer's mechanical keyboards.

But the Raiju does away with Bluetooth so as to reduce lag. It can be connected to the PS4 only via the included 3m USB braided cable.

While the cable should be long enough for most living rooms here, I feel there should have been a wireless option. So gamers can choose between a lag-free experience and a more convenient one.

Furthermore, while the PS button on Sony's DualShock 4 Controller is usually used to power up the gaming console, it cannot be used to do so with the Raiju.

Thus, apart from dealing with the irritating cable, you will need to walk a "mile" from your couch to the PS4 to switch on the gaming console - not to mention the walking back part, something I admit that I haven't done for a long time.

These are just inconveniences. The price is the biggest downer. At $229.90, the Raiju is nearly three times the price of the Sony DualShock 4 wireless controller ($87.90), which is bundled with a PS4.

While I do find the Raiju to be far more comfortable to use over long periods than the Sony controller, it is still a hefty price to pay.

•Verdict: The Razer Raiju is the Sony PlayStation 4 professional controller you have been waiting for - as long as you don't mind its inconveniences and price tag.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'Made just for the PS4'. Print Edition | Subscribe