The Mad Catz LYNX 9 mobile controller is like nothing else out there. At its most basic, it's a Bluetooth-enabled game controller that brings tactile controls to your Android smartphone or tablet (it also works with basically any Bluetooth device from a PC to Amazon's Fire TV). But, as we saw earlier this week, it's not just an Xbox 360 controller knockoff — it's an insane, modular controller that you can disassemble and reassemble on a whim to suit a variety of needs.
You can use the controller on its own, but chances are most of your devices already have controllers that work perfectly well. However, if you're an avid smartphone and tablet gamer, the LYNX 9 could prove to be a useful companion. It felt well-balanced with either a phone docked on top or with the left and right halves of the controllers surrounding a 7-inch tablet. The metal construction felt solid, but the fact that it's not completely solid made it feel strange compared to a standard console controller. The analog sticks and buttons are probably the most important part, though, and those felt responsive and sensitive enough to do some lengthly gaming with. (It also comes with a companion app to fine-tune the sensitivity of the controller).
The full package price of $299 is more than most will want to pay, but Mad Catz does throw a lot in the box there — you get the main controller, both the smartphone clip and the tablet grip / stand, a mobile keyboard module that you can use to bang out messages, and a set of cables to let you hook your devices up to the TV. And it packs a surprising amount of technology into such a small package — beyond the game controls, there's also a mousepad and a mic that lets you use voice-activated controls.
It's questionable whether the LYNX 9 will find much of a market, as it is clearly a very niche product — but that's never really been a problem for Mad Catz. The company has a history of making impressive, sometimes outlandish devices aimed squarely at hardcore gamers, and the LYNX 9 certainly continues that heritage.