In the past couple of years Mad Catz has really pushed well into the mobile gaming market with their peripherals and even an Android-based game console called the MOJO. Since the company first dove into the mobile gaming scene, each year we get to see new peripherals to get released and CES 2015 is definitely no exception to this with two new peripherals announced for mobile gamers. There is the L.Y.N.X.9 mobile game controller and the Swarm mobile gaming headset which we will go into in a second article.
Mad Catz’s new L.Y.N.X.9 mobile game controller is a pretty interesting device because of the fact it is extremely versatile. It isn’t just a Bluettooth controller in the standard way of thinking. It doesn’t just look like a Transformer, it actually is one, so the look of this controller isn’t just to be cool or anything like that. Well part of it is but a major factor in the controller’s look is also functionality. Since this is meant for mobile gaming, the entire controller folds into itself in order to fit into your pocket or other smaller places for storage. When you are ready to use it, you just pull it out and unfold it. From here you can just start gaming or you can attach the inside wings for a bit more of a bigger grip.
Phone clip on left, Folded Controller on the right
When gaming with your phone, you can do one of two things. First you can simply connect the controller to your phone via Bluetooth and have your phone sitting somewhere somehow like you normally do whether that is a stand you use already or something else. The second thing you can do it attach a clip to the back of the controller which will act as a phone holder. This clip/holder can accommodate pretty much and Android phone size including Phablets like the Samsung Note 4.
Before we dive further into how this controller transforms, we need to go into the three modes that it runs which are labeled as Blue Mode, Purple Mode, and Red Mode. Blue Mode is a straight-up controller mode for mobile gaming. Purple Mode puts the controller into entertainment mode. What this does is essentially transform your controller into a media remote, allowing you to use the buttons as media playback controls for when you are doing other things with your Android device outside of gaming. Red Mode is when you want to use this controller for anything related to PC gaming.
The L.Y.N.X.9 also comes with a small black square which is actually a mouse trackpad. This can be used when you need a mouse cursor and functionality. With the controller unfolded, you can attach a keyboard to the inside center area which allows you to do any sort of typing that you need, whether that be in-game or out of one such as sending text messages or using your browser. There is also a hidden mic for any voice command / chat related activities you need to do.
A tablet stand comes with the L.Y.N.X.9 controller but, like the controller itself, it isn’t just a tablet stand. While you can clip a tablet into it and use it as a stand for gaming, when you’re on the go and play games on your tablet, the whole stand thing doesn’t really work out. So Mad Catz designed the controller to completely come apart and re-attach itself onto the stand in order to make physical controls for your tablet. The controller comes apart in three sections, with each ‘wing’ attaching to the side of the stand, giving the user side located physical gaming controls. The center piece attaches to the top so that you can access all the buttons like the Power button, Mode switching buttons and so on.
When you get a L.Y.N.X.9 controller, inside the box will be all the wiring you could need should you have the need to hardline the controller for any particular reason. This controller works with anything that you need it to work with that accepts a Bluetooth connection but if for some reason you don’t have Bluetooth available, you can use the wires in order to use your controller.
While you may think this controller would feel weird in your hands when looking the design of it but it is actually quite comfortable. As for the controls, how they respond, and how they feel, they are all made by a company that specializes in performance gaming peripherals so everything is as you would expect it to be. Quick response times, good joystick feeling and recoil, buttons offer just enough resistance as do the joysticks. The sheer amount of functionality that this controller provide though is really the main highlight to say the least.
Wiring and Hidden Mic & Keyboard Port
Along with the controller, Mad Catz has released a companion app for it which can alter the sensitivity of the joysticks and provide additional customization settings which you can save based on the type of games you play. So if you play a lot of FPS games, you can have a saved settings for that but can switch over to a selection of settings geared towards RPG titles when you decide to play those instead.
If you are wanting to snag one of these controllers, pre-orders are live over on Mad Catz’s website. Pre-orders ship out March 2015 and buying one of these will cost you $299.99. We will be doing a more thorough review as soon as we get one.
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Official Website: Mad Catz L.Y.N.X.9