Mad Catz is one of the very few gaming staples at CES, almost like the elusive popular clique you revered in junior high school but were never quite cool enough to join yourself. This year was no different as they had an informal suite gathering for their next generation of peripherals.
Unlike before though they’re venturing into a modular age with the R.A.T. PROx, a gaming mouse that PR Director Alex Verrey himself stated as the company’s “labor of dedication that took five years to create”. At first, words couldn’t exactly describe what I was holding but this mouse is essentially a transformer with a “Exo-Frame” body made of magnesium and bolted with titanium. This is also loaded with patented features that includes but not limited to an analog scroll wheel and independent mechanism that can pivot for strafing in first-person shooters, a rotational angle palm rest for ergonomics, interchangeable sensors for different tracking speeds, and surface sliders for friction. Almost everything about the mouse is customization and can pieced together or dismantled for the last word in tailored gaming accessories, and almost every piece is included in the box from the start.
The Tritton Swarm was comparatively more conventional and billed as a gaming headset that’s not embarrassing to use everyday. Following in the vein of most lifestyle headphones there’s a lot of features such as AptX technology and discrete call receiving without looking too ostentatious outside of the house, and the ability to actively convert stereo into an isolated form of 3D surround sound.
But the real centerpiece was the L.Y.N.X. mobile gaming controller, which promises a on-the-fly console-like experience depending on the situation. Aside from the Transformers aesthetic there are a multitude of ways to play ranging from a standard setup where wing attachments can be snapped in on sides as proper handle grips, a qwerty keyboard can be fixed to the bottom, and can even be pulled out to fit a 7” touchscreen in the middle. It was certainly interesting to witness all the forms the L.Y.N.X. was able to take in order to work flawlessly for both Android and iOS platforms. But it should be noted that Mad Catz intends to carry an ambitious premium just for the privilege — a $300 one to be exact. That’s also what most people would call a hell of a lot of money for a mobile controller.
Either way, Mad Catz is betting big on unlimited customization and lifestyle to be the next big thing for serious gamers to embrace. Hopefully we’ll be able to give our verdict when some of these products hit the market, which will be as early as February.