In October, Razer announced Junglecat, a mobile gamepad with two Nintendo Switch Joy-Con-like controllers that attached to either side of your phone, but it only worked with four Android phones and required that you put your phones in a special case when you used it. Today at CES, just a few months after launching the Junglecat, Razer is announcing the Razer Kishi, another Switch-like mobile gamepad, but this one looks like it could address a lot of the criticisms of the Junglecat — and perhaps most importantly, Razer says it will work with most Android phones and iPhones.
The new gamepad is called the Razer Kishi, and it works with more devices than the Junglecat by attaching to the sides of your phone and connecting directly to it with either a USB-C or Apple Lightning connector, depending on the Kishi model specific to your phone. Plugging directly into your phone means the controller should, in theory, have very low latency, and, if you’re on Android, it should work with cloud gaming services like xCloud or Stadia. (If either of those services come to iOS, it seems possible that iPhone users could use Kishi for cloud gaming as well.)
Kishi also has passthrough ports so you can charge while playing
Plugging in directly to your device also means that Kishi doesn’t need to be charged separately like the Junglecat’s two gamepads each did — the Kishi just uses the power from your phone. And if you want to charge your phone while gaming, Kishi has passthrough charging ports that will let you do that.
The controller itself has a typical console controller layout, with two thumb sticks, a directional pad, ABXY buttons, and shoulder triggers — though it’s not clear from the press images if it has two or four shoulder triggers. According to Razer, Kishi will work with games with Android mobile controller support and all iOS games that are MFi Controller-compatible.
This press render gives an idea of what your phone might look like when it’s slotted into the Kishi — though I doubt your Kishi will be hovering over Earth in quite such an epic fashion.
Razer made Kishi in partnership with GameVice, a company known for its own Switch-like mobile controllers. Razer says it has a multi-year licensing agreement with GameVice for Kishi, so now that Kishi exists, it’s not exactly clear why anyone would buy a GameVice.
Razer says Kishi will be available in early 2020. Razer hasn’t publicly shared a price, but the company tells The Verge it will be priced similarly to the Junglecat, which cost $100, and that the Android model will likely cost slightly less than the iOS model.