It’s over with the envious looks at Xbox owners who were able to connect high-end hardware to their console with the Elite Controller. The Californian high-end forge Razer now also has a licensed PS4 controller for the demanding gamer in its range. How the Razer Raiju performs in everyday life and what advantages it offers for e-athletes and gaming pros, you will learn in our review.
I am always happy like a little child on Christmas eve when new hardware arrives for testing in the editorial office. This time even more so when Razer’s package with the new Raiju gaming controller landed on my desk.
Models for the Xbox, like the Razer Wildcat or Razer Sabertooth, were already part of the program. But a licensed PS4 gamepad from the makers of sinfully expensive gaming notebooks. For example, just a few weeks ago announced Razer Blade Pro did not exist yet. So unpack quickly and take a look at the excellent piece.
The First Impression
Like the Elite Controller from Microsoft, the Razer Raiju comes in a fixed transport box. Of course, if the “Designed for eSports” logo is already in the package, it should mean that hardware’s transport is safe from venue to venue. The included USB cable for connecting to the PS4 and charging the battery as well as the screwdriver from the accessories, can also easily find a place in the box.
So you always have everything with you that you need for the casual or even pro gaming. Speaking of cables: This is three meters long, fabric-covered and equipped with plastic caps on the USB plugs. Only a small detail, but testifies to the detailed thinking that will prove to be even smarter when building up the controller later on.
Due to the design of the Mini USB socket on the Raiju, which is sunk a good centimeter deep in the housing and has two guide rails, it is not possible to use any cables, as they may already be present several times in the household. For this purpose, the supplied cable connects firmly and securely to the socket with a satisfying click. It should be because the operation is only possible with wires.
On the one hand, this avoids annoying latencies during input, on the other hand, you always have a cable lying in the booth if you want to play something relaxed. A compromise in favor of e-sport, where the player usually sits with his nose directly in front of the screen. By the way, don’t leave the printed instructions in the box. To set individual profiles and mode changes you will undoubtedly need them later.
Connecting to PlayStation 4 is simple and works like a standard controller. Connect controller and console with the cable. After pressing the rather small but tactile PS button, the new hardware is registered and can now provide its service.
A Haptic Feeling of Happiness
You’ve got something in your hand, you could say loosely. The Raiju weighs a hefty 350g (with cable), compared to the almost 200g of the Dualshock 4 from Sony a noticeable weight difference. Besides, the dimensions of 16.8cm x 10.5cm x 6.5cm are a good deal wider than the standard.
It provides a rich haptic perception that is more reminiscent of the controllers from Microsoft than the filigree Sony counterparts. Too big? Too heavy? Come on, that’s what I’d say. Thanks to the ergonomic shape of the chassis and the weight distribution, the hands can adopt a relaxed position. The numerous buttons and triggers you can reach without effort and dislocation. Razer advertises that they developed the design and functionality together with e-sport athletes.
I am personally far from being called an athlete, but I can only fully support the statement that the Raiju feels good. However, it takes some getting used to the precise clicking of the microswitches, which are reminiscent of the noise generated by a mechanical keyboard. You can like it, you can hate it, but you can hide it while playing.
The D-Pad, consisting of four separate buttons instead of the rocker of the DualShock 4, also leaves a double-edged impression. On the one hand, the apparent tactile separation of the top, bottom, left and right makes sense if individual commands, such as a weapon selection, are located on these keys. On the other hand, the diagonal control of a character or the execution of semicircular inputs, as required in some fighting games, is much more complicated.
Is Razer Raiju a Competition for Scuf Infinity?
If you ask a pro-gamer about his control favorite, you’ll often hear a name of the company Scuf. The company produces custom controllers for the e-sport. The Raiju wants to involve in this segment. Therefore, it brings four additional programmable multi-function triggers and bumpers with the designation M1 to M4 into play. These are easily accessible with middle and index fingers on the shoulder as well as on the underside.
Hyperresponse is what Razer calls the technique that allows you to quickly move the microswitches to react. Giving you an advantage in game situations. The triggering speed can be improved even further by providing a continuous fire variant with the optional trigger stop. To do this, move two tiny sliders on the bottom of the trigger to shorten the pressure path of the trigger.
If you can play better without the additional triggers on the bottom, then there’s no problem. Use the supplied screwdriver to gently loosen the fastenings, remove the triggers and raise a dust cover.
As already mentioned, the additional buttons are multifunction triggers or bumpers. You can freely assign actions to them. For example, a move that requires pressing an analog stick on a trigger and so can always hold the thumbs on the sticks without changing hands. Programming is simple. You will need the Remap and Profile buttons located below the touch panel and sticks.
Before I bore you with the individual steps of the process, take a quick look at the instructions. Once you have saved your favorite settings, you can quickly switch between them. An LED indicates which profile is currently active. In addition to the profile buttons, there are two other buttons for operating a headset. Connect via 3.5 mm jack plug, and you can mute the microphone and adjust the volume directly on the controller.
More than just proper processing, four additional programmable triggers/bumpers, creating profiles and controls for the headset. That all sounds good, why then my mixed feelings, which I have already expressed in the headline? The lack of wireless functionality?
Well, this is due to the e-sport idea and the avoidance of latencies. You shouldn’t just send the DualShock into retirement for your daily needs. Things like the D-Pad, which is not equipped with a rocker, or the almost annoying removal of the additional triggers at the bottom, restrict the all-around use for all genres.
However, the Raiju is ideally suited for shooters, and the extra programmable pushers make everyday shooting a lot more comfortable. The last point of criticism is the extremely sporty price Razer calls for his license piece.