If your phone is your portable console, and you’re proud of it, Razer’s latest gadget could just make the experience more like a true portable console.
It’s 2020, and the world of portable gaming looks rather small. There’s the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite, plus some of Nintendo’s older devices in the “DS” range, and even some older Sony PlayStation Portables that haven’t really been touched in some time. Oh, and there are a few retro consoles you can get your mitts on, of course, as well as a tablet or laptop if you consider them “portable”.
If you’re a mobile gamer, though, there’s a chance you’re reliant on your phone, with some pretty good reasons as to why: you have a pretty big screen, the game selection is usually decent and ever-growing, and it’s always on you. When you carry your phone everywhere, you also tend to carry your gaming console everywhere, too.
But that doesn’t mean your phone will feel like a video game console. To feel like a proper game console, you probably need a controller or two, and that means an accessory.
If you don’t feel like a console is one without a directional pad, analogue sticks, and some buttons, Razer might have just what you’re after, especially if you don’t want to buy a whole new phone.
This week, it’s launching the “Kishi”, a universal gaming controller made for phones that includes two analogue thumb sticks, one directional pad, and a series of buttons that can wrap around quite a few phones, effectively turning them into a portable gaming console.
From the looks of things, it’s similar to what Asus delivered in one of its ROG Phone accessories recently, but made to support more than one phone.
Specifically, the Razer Kishi will support quite a few phones, with pretty much the requirement being phone size and USB Type C, which means the port you charge your phone with needs to be fairly recent. From there, it’s just about having the right dimensions for the controller casing to wrap around your phone, with the Galaxy S8 onwards, including the more recent S10 and S10+, S20 and S20+, and Note 8, Note 9, Note 10, and Note 10+ all supported in Samsung’s phones, plus every major Google Pixel from the 2 onwards, including the 2 XL, 3 XL, and 4 XL, and of course the Razer Phone and Razer Phone 2.
Even if your phone isn’t listed, provided it’s not the biggest thing in the world or foldable and it supports USB Type C, you may be fine, though you may want to check with Razer’s dimensions before you commit.
Over on the iPhone, support for a variation of the Razer Kishi gamepad is coming, and it will reportedly work on the iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max, as well as last year’s assortment of iPhones, the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, but that will come later. We’re not sure quite how much later, but it will likely be a slightly different unit, given the differences between USB Type C and Lightning: both are reversible, but they’re not nearly the same.
It means if you’re keen for the Razer Kishi, but you have an iPhone, you’ll want to hold off for now. A different release is coming for that, likely in the US summer, which means our winter, also known as “within a few months”. For Android gamers, that release is now, with the Razer Store in Australia getting the Kishi USB Type C gamepad for $149.95, with local retailer availability from July.