The New Razer Onza Xbox 360 Controller Could Change Console Competitive Gaming

UPDATE 1: Razer Onza Slow Turn Tested on ReflectzYn.

UPDATE 2: Razer Onza Multi-Function Buttons on ReflectzYn.

If you are not giddy about Razer’s upcoming Xbox 360 controller that was demoed earlier this year at CES 2010, something is wrong.  Razer is well known in the competitive PC realm for their mouse, mouse pads, and gaming headphone products.  Later this year they are supposed to drop the first tournament grade Xbox 360 controller and from the earlier video impressions, it looks like a killer controller.  A few stars need to align for Razer in order for their controller to really take off, but Razer could do to controllers what Astro Gaming did to headphones two years ago.  Here’s a little rundown of what is included:

Tension Adjustable Analog Sticks

In a nutshell, this means players will be able to adjust the turning speed tension of a controller out of the box;  no slow turn, no breaking-in the controller.  For me as player, this is the biggest selling point of the whole controller.  The function should allow for more precise aiming mechanics than simply adjusting the typical X-Y axis sensitivity in most games.  Imagine being able to adjust and fine tune your movement analog coupled with a separate turning speed for your aiming analog.  Creating that possibility to improve your aiming, movement and overall precision in any game is going to allow for some seriously incredible console shooter precision — I’m stoked!

Mapping Controls to Different Buttons

Beyond the standard alternate control schematics built within most shooters, this controller function allows you to map/program different button functions to other buttons.   Imagine if ‘Bumper Jumper’ was not an available option in Halo 3 and you wanted to map your Jump Button from A to the bumper, this function allows you to do just that.  I am never a fan of taking my right thumb (I don’t play claw) off of the controller to press jump – a split second jump without aiming can result in a death.

Rapid Fire Button (Needs to GO!)

Razer clearly understands and knows (stated in my video) that Rapid Fire is banned in tournament play.  I am not sure why they would even consider the function in a controller branded as “Tournament Grade.”  Bottom line is they need to get rid of the function which they sort of imply in the video.  If the final product launches with the rapid fire function, you can kiss it goodbye for competitive play.

Non-Slip Rubber

I have not used a Razer Mouse in a long time and eBash is currently using Logitech’s Mx518, but this is to improve the feel and grip of the controller.  I’m not particularly fond of the standard Xbox 360 controller’s plastic casing, so I have high hopes for the rubber feel.  If anyone uses a Razer mouse please provide some feedback.

Hyper Response Buttons

Again this is technology that is borrowed from the Razer mouse.  It is supposed to provide better response time feedback from the controller input to your Xbox 360 which might result in slightly (unnoticeable) improved input lag to the TV/Monitor.  I don’t have a current problem with the standard Xbox 360’s buttons so if they improve upon it I will be impressed.

Improved D-Pad

The standard Xbox 360’s D-Pad flat out sucks.  I do not like using it for Gears of War 2 because it does not accurately switch weapons on a consistent basis.  Sometimes pressing up will switch to my weapon assigned to the Left or Right positions on the analog.  Razer did not have the “improved” D-Pad in the prototyped they demoed, but I’m sure making anything equal or worse would be a tough accomplishment.  I think they will make a very nice D-Pad considering they are making it similar to the PlayStation controller.

I am hoping that MLG approves of these controllers!  If they are approved, I think it could change some of the dynamics of console shooters and further distinguish some of the top players.  Razer and Major League Gaming, make this happen!

(Update:  Supposed to Retail for $49.99)

I scoured through a number of videos before deciding to use the one provided by Booredatwork.

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