Hot off the launch of the Razer Junglecat in 2019, Razer expanded its mobile gaming controller ambitions at CES 2020 with the reveal of the Razer Kishi. Unlike the Junglecat, however, the Kishi is built for practically any modern smartphone. Whether you carry an iPhone or Android in your pocket, the Kishi can fit the bill.
That’s a big deal with cloud game streaming services just starting to hit the market in force, and that’s precisely why Razer built the Kishi. Much like the Junglecat, the Kishi fits neatly to the ends of your phone, giving you an almost Nintendo Switch-like experience as soon as you pop it on. There is no battery here, as the Kishi works by connecting to your USB-C or Lightning port, but that means you’ll also be able to keep your phone topped off while playing via a pass-through charging port.
Across the Kishi, you’ll find the standard set of accoutrements we’ve come to expect from any modern controller. There are two, offset joysticks, a D-pad, four shoulder buttons, and four main face buttons. Additionally, the controller sports a home button, along with start and select buttons.
The Kishi should work for most native Android and iOS games that support controllers, but it’s cloud gaming where it will really shine. The grips are comfortable, and in practice with Microsoft’s Project xCloud, the Kishi felt felt about as close as you can get to replicating the Xbox experience on a phone, short of using an Xbox controller.
Razer says the Kishi will work with the full range of cloud game streaming services once it ships, however. The company is working particularly closely with NVIDIA and is now a part of its GeForce NOW Recommended program. Google Stadia players can also use the Kishi to get some gaming in on the go.
As for when you’ll be able to get your hands on Kishi, Razer says to expect it in “early 2020,” so you won’t have long to wait. Pricing is still up in the air, but the Junglecat is currently priced at $99, so it’s a safe bet the Kishi will sit somewhere below that threshold.