When a leader in gaming accessories makes a high-end game controller, gamers take notice. In the case of the Razer Wildcat for the Xbox One, it is also because it signals serious competition for this gadget genre.
The Wildcat is taking on two rivals, both from Microsoft - the original Xbox One controller, as well as Microsoft's Elite Controller, which also caters to the e-sports console enthusiast.
Compared to the original Xbox One controller, the Wildcat has many improvements. The biggest ones are the additional mapable buttons. They consist of two triggers on the underside, and two buttons beside the shoulder buttons that are just within reach of your index fingers.
Instead of moving your thumb away from the control sticks to jump, or to reload your weapon using the action buttons, players can now map action controls onto the additional buttons to maintain movement within a game.
All the buttons on the Wildcat offer minimal travel and are responsive. Players can also choose to lock these additional buttons if they are not in use.
And instead of having to spend extra on a headset adaptor, gamers can use the Wildcat's built-in audio control panel for controlling the audio and the audio levels of the other players in an online game.
BUTTONS: 2 shoulder Hyperesponse multi-function bumpers; 2 removable Hyperesponse multi-function triggers; 4 Hyperesponse ABXY action buttons; and 4-button quick control panel
PORT: 3.5mm audio port for stereo audio output and microphone input
VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5
To minimise lag, the Wildcat requires a wired connection. A braided cable is provided for this.
But I suspect that this might be a deal-breaker for casual gamers who want the customisation options on the Wildcat, but also the freedom of wireless gameplay on a regular controller.
When compared with the Elite Controller, though, there are a few features that the Wildcat lacks.
For instance, it does not have the former's one-piece crossbar for directional control. There are four separate directional buttons instead.
The Elite Controller's ability to tweak sensitivity settings is also missing on the Wildcat.
On a positive note, the Wildcat is lighter (260g), compared with the Elite Controller (348g).
Alas, the build of the Wildcat is less premium. It feels more akin to the original Xbox One controller in this regard.
The underbelly triggers on the Wildcat also require the use of a special screwdriver (which is provided) to remove, which makes for a less elegant solution to quick changes in button layout.
•The Razer Wildcat outperforms the original Xbox One controller, but at $239.90, it is more expensive than the sturdier and more customisable Xbox Elite Controller.