The Razer Kishi is an extending game controller for your Android or iOS smartphone
Back in October last year, Razer unveiled the Junglecat gaming controller for smartphones. The Bluetooth powered controller consists of two parts that can be attached to either side of a smartphone, giving users access to two analog joysticks and bumper action buttons on each side. At a price of $99.99, the controller offered pretty much everything a mobile gamer might need, but it has one major shortcoming. The Junglecat controller requires a special smartphone case in order to attach to a smartphone, which means that it would require users to purchase the case for multiple devices if they wished to change phones. At the ongoing CES 2020 trade show, Razer has now addressed this issue with the new Razer Kishi game controller for Android and iOS.
Compared to the Junglecat, the Razer Kishi is a more universal controller and doesn’t require any additional hardware. The controller can work with most Android or iOS devices and our Editor-in-Chief, Mishaal Rahman, was able to use it with both his OnePlus 7 Pro and the Pixel 3a XL. However, the OnePlus 7 Pro seems to be near the upper limit of how big a phone you can fit in the Kishi, so it might not work with phones that are any wider. Mishaal tried playing Devil May Cry 5 over Microsoft’s Project xClound on the Pixel 3a XL. Check out his first impression in the video linked below:
Much like the Junglecat, the Razer Kishi features two analog joysticks that are clickable for L3/R3 inputs and a directional pad. Along with that, it features two left (L1/L2) and two right (R1/R2) shoulder buttons, A/B/X/Y buttons, and lastly, a home button, back button, and forward button for UI navigation. All the buttons on the Kishi can be remapped using the Razer GamePad app, allowing players to customize the controls as per their needs.
Unlike the Junglecat, however, the Kishi controller uses a wired connection to connect to your device. Therefore, Razer will offer the controller in two models: one for Android (USB Type-C port) and one for iOS (Lightning port). Thanks to the wired connection, users won’t face any latency for button presses and offer a much better gaming experience than the Bluetooth-powered Junglecat. Additionally, since the controller makes use of a wired connection, there’s no need for a battery and it can draw charge straight from your smartphone. Powering the Kishi from your phone shouldn’t cause much battery drain as it’s just like any other standard HID input device.
The Razer Kishi features an additional USB Type-C port on the bottom right side of the controller which supports passthrough charging. This means that you’ll be able to charge your smartphone even with the controller attached. We’re quite excited about the product because there’s a serious lack of good gaming controllers for Android devices. Most users settle for products from less known brands like iPEGA, but if Razer starts to offer a more premium product that works well, the Kishi could really catch on. Razer plans to launch the Android version of the Kishi next month, with no information from the company regarding the iOS version or the pricing.