Opting for a wireless controller arguably gives you the best mobile gaming experience, but carrying a controller around everywhere isn’t always feasible. Playing games using your phone’s display provides the simplest experience, but the lack of tactility is off-putting for some. Announced today, the Razer Kishi looks to provide the best of both worlds.
At first blush, the Kishi looks like fatter Joy-Cons. Whereas Nintendo’s offering is two separate pieces, Razer’s offering is one piece connected by a flexible belt. The Kishi telescopes out and clamps to the top and bottom edges of your phone. You then connect the Kishi directly to your phone. You can pick up the accessory with either a USB-C or Apple’s Lightning connector. Regardless of the model you choose, there’s a pass-through port for charging while you play.
For mobile gamers, the benefits are substantial. The Kishi features two thumb sticks, a directional pad, ABXY buttons, and shoulder triggers. The presence of buttons will make those who want tactility during gameplay sessions very happy. Even better, the Kishi works with iOS titles compatible with Made for iPhone controllers and Android titles compatible with mobile controllers. Also, the Kishi collapses when not in use and takes up little room in your bag.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because the Gamevice controller pulls off the same tricks. This isn’t a case of blatant copying on Razer’s part, however—Razer has a multi-year licensing agreement in place with the company. However, Gamevice only works for Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S, and Samsung Galaxy Note phones released since 2017. Meanwhile, the Kishi works with many more Android smartphones.
The Kishi will be available sometime in early 2020. According to Razer, the accessory will be priced similarly to the $100 Switch-like Junglecat controller. In terms of compatibility, the Kishi works with the iPhone 6 and up. Compatible Android smartphones include those with center-positioned USB-C ports and running Android 7.0 Nougat and up.