Console gamers have been forced to slum it for years.
They’ve watched on with envy, regular joypads in hand, while the PC master race constantly upgrades their mice and keyboards for newer, l33t-er hardware.
The Xbox One Elite controller provided a first taste of upgrade fever, and now it’s Sony’s turn to get in on the action. PS4 gamers get a choice of two controllers, though - even if neither of them are actually made by Sony.
The Raiju comes from Razer, purveyor of all things black and LED-illuminated - at least where gaming hardware is concerned. It’s a serious upgrade over the standard DualShock 4, but it’s got a seriously high price to match: £150 (RM835).
Will paying a small fortune for one of these really catapult you to the top of the online leaderboards? Not quite, but it’s packing a feature list guaranteed to make it the weapon of choice for dedicated gamers.
GET A GRIP
On the surface, the Raiju isn’t all that different from a regular PS4 controller. Just a whole lot bigger. Honestly, this thing is a beast, with a similar chunky shape to Microsoft’s Xbox One controllers.
Xbox fans complaining that Razer has been copying Microsoft’s homework, and that the Raiju is nothing short of an Xbox One Elite knock-off should learn their controller history, though. Razer first tried the whole “pro-grade controller” thing with the Sabretooth back in 2013, before the Xbox One even arrived.
The Raiju is an evolution of that, ditching the superfluous screen under the thumbsticks and replacing it with some handy shortcut buttons.
These let you mute your microphone and change your headset volume without having to dive into the PS4’s settings screen, and more importantly, let you customise the Raiju’s four extra buttons.
PUSH THE BUTTON
Taking your thumbs off the thumbsticks at the wrong moment usually gets you killed - that’s just a fact of life when you’re chasing your third Prestige in Call of Duty, or schooling newbie Guardians in the ways of Destiny’s Trials of Osiris.
The Raiju adds a pair of triggers to the underside of the controller, right where your ring fingers rest naturally, and the two buttons next to the triggers are also within easy reach. With all four set up, you shouldn’t need to give up control and reach for the D-Pad or face buttons at all.
I set them up for jumping, switching weapons and calling in killstreaks, but you can bind them to any of the controller’s regular buttons or triggers - just hold down the function key on the front and tap the button you want mapped. The controller vibrates once it’s done.
Don’t go thinking you can set up one of these extra triggers to pull off some fancy combination of button presses, though - it’s a one for one kind of deal. That’ll keep tournament organisers happy that you aren’t cheating by using rapid fire.
You get two profiles, so you can toggle between games without having to re-bind everything. If they’re getting in your way, you can even unscrew the rear triggers altogether.
They make a massive difference in first- and third-person shooters, where movement and aiming separate the wheat from the chaff.
Customisation isn’t king here; there aren’t any interchangeable thumbsticks or D-pads to mess about with. Instead, Razer has focused on performance, shaving off fractions of a second every time you squeeze a trigger or press a button.
The Square, Circle, Cross and Triangle buttons are all incredibly shallow, taking just a tiny prod to activate. Each one clicks audibly whenever you press it, just like a mechanical keyboard.
You can lock the triggers too, reducing the amount you have to squeeze each one, rather than pushing them all the way down.
It might not sound like much, but compared to a regular DualShock 4, these little changes add up over the course of a multiplayer match.
My only problem was that some games just didn’t like me using them. Call of Duty? No problem at all. Destiny, though? The triggers don’t dip down enough to actually fire your guns when the locks are in place.