In a nutshell: Razer is stepping up to bat again to see if it can score in the mobile controller market. Its 2014, its Junglecat was a swing and a miss having never been released. Last year's Junglecat reboot was primarily designed for the Razer Phone 2, so it's likely to be a foul ball. Its just-announced Kishi has much broader support. Though, we'll have to see if it ends up being a home run when it releases in the next few months.
In a partnership with Gamevice, Razer unveiled a new mobile gaming controller at CES on Tuesday. Dubbed the “Razer Kishi,” the gamepad resembles a set of Nintendo Joy-Con controllers that attach to your smartphone. While the overall design is a bit bulkier, button, D-pad, and thumbstick placement are identical.
This is not Razer’s first foray into the mobile controller market. In 2014, it announced the Junglecat for use with the iPhone 5 and 5s. It was a nifty two-in-one that doubled as a phone case but was limited to just those two devices. Razer subsequently canceled it before launch.
Back in October, Razer updated the Junglecat with an entirely new Joy-Con-like design. This time Razer is targeting the Android market. However, the device was conceived for use with the Razer Phone 2 and as such, is only compatible with three other Android devices, and no plans for expanding it to other phones.
With the Razer Kishi, the company decided to make it widely compatible by including USB-C and Lightning port connectivity. So most Androids and iPhones will work, which solves the limited market problem of the other controller.
Unlike the Junglecat, which connects via Bluetooth, the Razer Kishi does not need charging because it connects directly to the smartphone. The slightly extra power consumption means shorter playtime, but Kishi has a pass-through port so you can charge your phone while playing.
Razer is shooting for an early 2020 launch date but did not disclose a price. However, as both versions of the Junglecat were listed at around $100, we can expect similar pricing for the Kishi.