Back at CES, Razer announced the Kishi, an extending game controller for smartphones. The Kishi is what’s called a “telescopic” gaming controller, meaning it extends to mount smartphones of various sizes. Unlike many other gaming controllers, the Razer Kishi is not wireless. Rather, it connects to your phone’s charging port. Because of this, Razer made two versions of the Kishi: One for Android devices with a USB-C port and one for iOS devices with a Lightning port. Now, Razer is unveiling a new version of the Kishi controller for Android devices. Like the standard version, this new one connects to your Android’s USB-C port. However, Razer says its new controller has been “Designed for Xbox” in preparation for the launch of Microsoft xCloud and Xbox Game Pass later this year.
The new “Designed for Xbox” edition of the Razer Kishi is nearly identical to the standard Kishi controller for Android phones. They both have 4 face buttons, 2 joysticks, a directional pad, 4 shoulder buttons, a passthrough USB-C port for charging, and a USB-C connector to connect to your smartphone. What differentiates the “Designed for Xbox” edition controller is the addition of an Xbox Nexus, View, and Menu buttons. These buttons have been mapped to send the same inputs as the corresponding buttons on a regular Xbox controller. That means this controller can fully mimic an Xbox controller’s inputs when playing Xbox games through Microsoft’s xCloud cloud gaming service.
Left: Razer Kishi “Designed for Xbox” edition. Right: Standard model.
The new Razer Kishi “Designed for Xbox” edition controller is available on Razer.com, Microsoft.com, Amazon, and other retailers starting today in the U.S. and Europe for a retail price of $99.99/€109.99. That’s $20/€20 more expensive than the standard model, but Razer is also throwing in a 14-day free trial of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to compensate. Razer says that Microsoft xCloud will launch with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on September 15th, and when it does, it’ll require a compatible controller to play on Android. You can opt for an Xbox controller and a phone grip, but Razer believes its Kishi is the best choice for Xbox game streaming on Android.
When I reviewed the standard Kishi for XDA, I found it to be an excellent controller for Android phones when playing games through emulators or cloud gaming services. However, I was disappointed in its size constraints. While you can remove the rubber inserts to free up some space for slightly larger phones to fit, the Kishi still won’t support every large smartphone out there. Furthermore, because the Kishi requires a center-mounted USB-Type C port, some rare devices like the ASUS ROG Phone 3 won’t fit. Based on the leaked dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, it seems that the upcoming phone should just barely fit, but only if you remove the rubber inserts as previously mentioned. Current rumors suggest the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will be optimized for Microsoft xCloud and Xbox Game Pass, so it would be a shame if the device can’t fit in the Kishi. We’ll know for sure once the phone’s specs are confirmed tomorrow, though.
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