At CES 2020, most eyes are definitely set of the Alienware Concept UFO by Dell, however not many has actually thought of solving the woes of mobile gaming especially when it comes to gaming controllers.
Razer managed to grab my attention on the Razer Kishi, a very well designed gaming controller that has the Nintendo Switch’s button layout and doesn’t weigh like a brick in your pockets and bags, while supporting phone screens of up to 7-inches and iPhones.
Really, the Kishi is a pretty solid idea for mobile gaming on the go, especially when you can actually store it into a size that’s slightly larger than your wallet, there’s no annoying clips or casings (ahem…ROG Phone) that you need to fit in order to have those joysticks and buttons for your mobile games.
The controller is secured by a clip at the back and when you need to use it, simply lift it and it will let you expand its width with a belt, there’s a spring mechanism on the left side that lets you extend the controller further and secures your phone.
Best of all, no external power is required as it draws from your phone’s charging port, there is of course still a charging port on the controller that lets you charge your device while gaming, it is pretty much a plug and play experience.
The Kishi also takes the phone’s loudspeakers into consideration most controllers will usually block the phone’s speakers, hence it has a small speaker grille on the right controller to amplify sound.
I’ve spent some time with it while I was at the Razer booth playing a MOBA game running on a Pixel 3a, my first impressions of it is a good one and I’ve never felt gaming on a smartphone can be so enjoyable as the buttons are solid and the clickable analog controls doesn’t have that cheap feeling you get on some controllers. Since it uses a tethered connection, there is no delay input like you get on a Bluetooth game controller.
Razer says that the Kishi should work on most mobile games that already has built support for game controllers, the one thing that you might want to take note is that the Kishi’s connector isn’t swappable so you will have to make up your mind to buy the Lightning or USB-C version of it, the company targets to ship the Kishi early this year.