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Razer Kishi Ultra

Razer is finally expanding what their Kishi controller can do, and it's the best one yet.

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It's a little difficult to navigate these devices that aim to make our game libraries accessible through game streaming on a handheld device. If you want to stream Xbox games from a Series console, do you "just" buy a controller for your smartphone and accept a hit to your battery, or is there a central joy to buying a dedicated device, such as a Logitech G Cloud? How committed do you have to be to favour a PlayStation Portal over a Backbone?

Let's say you may live a console agnostic lifestyle, and at times want to either stream Xbox-specific titles, or stream from a Series console as well as a PS5 - then Portal is obviously out of the question. Furthermore, it seems a bit too much to invest something like £200 in a Logitech G Cloud, but at the same time, the basic controller clamps are a bit too basic. So what's next?

Razer Kishi Ultra

Well, Razer has launched the Kishi Ultra, which presents the same basic design and functionality principles as the Kishi V2 Pro and Kishi V2, but spares no expense when it comes to giving you an immersive gaming experience. Furthermore, it's being introduced at "just" $149.99 (UK pricing is still unknown), which can easily be considered a big saving compared to a G Cloud. Not only does it support all smartphones with USB-C (which now also includes the latest iPhone models), but also an iPad Mini (or similar small tablet).

There are a lot of brackets there, but it's important to get it all in. And yes, the sharpest extra functionality here is that you can insert a smaller tablet (about 8 inches like the iPad Mini) and instead use it as a much larger, and perhaps less important screen in everyday life. Overall, this is such a great idea that it's almost a shame that Razer didn't go one step further and use a design that allowed the use of even larger tablets, so that consumers could activate the ones that are already in a drawer somewhere. Unfortunately, that's not the case - but I happen to own an iPad Mini, so that's how I tested the Kishi Ultra.

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First of all, it's bigger, and thus Razer has ditched the Joy-Con-like design of the other Kishi variants and presents something that feels a bit like a PlayStation Portal. This is praise indeed, because those of us with large hands finally have a controller that doesn't hurt to use after about 30 minutes. The ergonomics are sublime, as is the build quality. The ABXY buttons feel tactile and mechanical, the D-Pad is precise, and the analogue sticks are responsive - it all works fabulously. It must be said, however, that the rigid design means it takes up space. This may not be a big deal if it's primarily used within the four walls of your home, but if you're taking it on the go, it's both heavy and bulky in a backpack.

Razer Kishi Ultra

Ultra also supports Sensa HD haptic feedback, so there are dedicated motors inside that give you a much more detailed rumble when you play. It's not yet clear whether this requires special work from game developers, but I've been streaming from my PlayStation 5 at home and have found that it does, if nothing else, try to reproduce the same haptic feedback as a DualSense (and a Portal). It's not as detailed as the latter, but the Kishi Ultra is both cheaper and more versatile, so it's not a definite let-down.

There's also Chroma RGB, but to be honest, it's such a superfluous feature that I immediately switched it off. It's not entirely clear how much it drains the battery of the tablet or phone you're using, but I'd much rather save it. However, there are little extra features here, such as the ability to use it as a PC controller with a simple USB-C cable and passthrough so you can charge the device while gaming.

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It's cheaper than a Portal and a G Cloud, and apart from having to supplement the display yourself, you're not sacrificing much. I wish Razer had gone further and offered support for even larger tablets, because many of us already have one, but other than that, Kishi Ultra is the right product to launch in 2024, where more and more of us are streaming games, either from our console or from the cloud.

HQ
09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
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