Mad Catz CAT Controller Line Takes the Battle to Consoles

mad catz cat controllers

When we took a look at the latest Mad Catz offering at Gamescom 2019 we fully prepared to see some brand new keyboards. As it turns out we got a line of new controllers and an added surprise in tow.

Mad Catz is about to take control as it launches an assault on the console and mobile market that we were not expecting. The team behind PC centric peripherals like the STRIKE 4 keyboard and RAT series mice are not just focusing on the traditional set of triggers and are looking to give gaming enthusiasts a broader range of options with a whole set of new controllers. The upcoming lineup of Madcatz controllers should provide a series of gaming choices to a wide range of budget. All in, Madcatz is ready to bring five new controllers to the market and we got to grips with them all.

Mad Catz CAT 1

mad catz CAT controller 1

In a definite play on the RAT mouse branding, the CAT series of controllers begins with the CAT 1. This entry-level controller is intended to be a budget device for gamers who want a solid, wired device that can cope with the odd stress and strain of everyday combat. It features the same basic control set that you’d expect from any other third party peripheral and an iconic Mad Catz claw decal across the front.

SPECIFICATION

Device: Windows Direct & X Input, console compatible
Connection: Type-A USB
Buttons: 15 Buttons (XYAB, Dpad, Shoulder, Trigger)
Weight: 237g
Dimensions: 160x64x112 mm

The LEDs along the front designate P1-P4 status and it is built to take the rigors of in-game combat. We’re expecting this to come in at a budget price range which is pretty fitting for the CAT 1. We didn’t get full confirmation of the device’s Playstation 4 hardware certification as yet, but Mad Catz has confirmed it is compatible with PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch consoles.

Mad Catz CAT 3 and CAT 5

mad catz CAT 3 and 5

Ditching the wires, and taking a slightly more premium look, the next step up in the CAT peripheral range is the CAT 3 and CAT 5 controllers. Coming in at $45 and $50 consecutively, both these devices ditch the wires to add Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity to their arsenal. While the Cat 3 apes a design familiar to Playstation 4 owners, The CAT 5 might seem at home in a team green household. Both of these have room for a USB wired mode and my own impressions are that the CAT 3 has a slightly more premium rubberized set of grips and is just slightly weightier in hand, giving it a more solid feel than the CAT 5. That’s a personal opinion and realistically your preference might depend more on the grip design more than an insurmountable weight difference.

CAT 3 SPECIFICATION

mad catz cat 3

Device: Windows Direct & X Input, console compatible
Connection: Type-A USB, Bluetooth, 2.4GHz Wireless
Buttons: 17 Buttons (XYAB, Dpad, Shoulder, Trigger)
Weight: 225g
Dimensions: 165x60x115 mm
Battery Life: 5 Hours
Range: 12 m

Like the upcoming CAT 7, the Mad Catz 3 and 5 controllers come with a surprise that you might not expect. The multiple connection modes allow players to stay synched with multiple gaming platforms at once, meaning gamers with a console and PC in the house don’t need to resynch between devices if they want to go back and forth. All in, the overall connectivity and price point make either of these devices just a little more like the type of controller I might consider throwing in my bag for everyday use across PC and consoles.

CAT 5 SPECIFICATION

mad catz cat 5

Device: Windows Direct & X Input, console compatible
Connection: Type-A USB
Buttons: 17 Buttons (XYAB, Dpad, Shoulder, Trigger)
Weight: 210g
Dimensions: 155x65x108 mm
Battery Life: 8 Hours
Range: 12 m

 

Mad Catz CAT 7

mad catz cat 7

This is where things get really interesting. Despite its understated design, the Mad Catz CAT 7 is a different beast than the initial press pack shots suggest. Look closely at the whole handheld has a premium look and feel to it. Turning things around, the base of the controller and a built-in OLED display reveals a little more about what to expect from this device. The CAT 7 takes the CAT 5 platform and builds upon a solid foundation, incorporating the 17 button layout of the CAT 5 adding an additional set of 4 trigger buttons under controller grips.

SPECIFICATION

mad catz cat 7 back

Device: Windows Direct & X Input, console compatible (OTG connector also available)
Display: OLED Screen
Connection: Type-A USB
Motor: Built-in motor for feedback
Buttons: 20 Buttons (XYAB, Dpad, Shoulder, Trigger)
Weight: 200g
Profiles: 2 Onboard With Programmable Macros
Dimensions: 108x65x155 mm

 

Each of these triggers is individually customizable via PC software and fits onto one of the controller’s two onboard memory profiles. So, there’s no need to reconfigure every time you take the controller on the go. The whole thing feels much more in line with the enthusiast consumer range that we’d expect to see form Mad Catz and the aforementioned OLED is a great touch for communicating information. We can’t wait to see if the OLED addition is just for profile settings, if it ends up with more advanced discord integration, or if other useful custom features even come contained within. Either way, it has our interest.

While we were intrigued by the CAT 7 is is a bit of a compromise to lose Bluetooth and 2.4Ghz connections on this device. All of these things, however, do cost money and the CAT 7 has claws when it comes to pricing. With the nearest obvious equivalent being the Xbox One Elite controller, this Mad Catz controller is expected to come in significantly under the cost of the top end Microsoft device at roughly $66 RRP, making for a fantastic value proposition.

Mad Catz Lynx 3

mad catz lynx 3

The Mad Catz Lynx is the final look at Mad Catz upcoming controller and it is definitely the sort of interesting that only the uniquely placed Mad Catz legacy could live up to. With a styling that isn’t going to go unnoticed and a shape that is almost as unique as the RAT mouse series, the LYNX 3 appears to be a reworking of the original LYNX range. Before Mad Catz resurrection, the LYNX 3 was a fairly flimsy, mobile afterthought. Now, with the rise of stadia, this mobile game controller is aiming for the top of the pile.

SPECIFICATIONS

Device: Windows Direct & X Input, console and mobile compatible
Connection: Type-A USB and Bluetooth
Buttons: 18 Buttons (XYAB, Dpad, Shoulder, Trigger, Home, Select, Modes)

The Lynx 3 is a fully functional mobile-focused controller that fits in almost any pocket and should give you the edge on any iOS or Android opponent. An integrated phone holder and two folding arms swing out of the compact chassis to travel at least 17 buttons, plus what might end up being two additional triggers on the bottom. Don’t quote us on those two bottom buttons though, we’re still checking back on that. The full-fat start and select buttons are all in place, making this more than just a tiny Bluetooth toy, and the connectivity is a bit more than you might even need. The obvious Bluetooth wireless is in an obvious requirement for a mobile controller and an integrated micro usb port allows more than just a quick power-up. Along with the 12 hours of game time packed into the internal battery, wired controller support is also crammed into this and the overall build quality feels far more premium than the first LYNX iteration I remember holding.

With the rise of the Stadia platform, on the go streaming, and my personal pick, the Shadow desktop’s mobile app, premium mobile controllers are something that could easily find a market this time around. We did find the LYNX 3 is expected to drop at $70 RRP so this is something that falls squarely into the enthusiast bracket.

The Mad Catz controller range should get some more official information soon and we can’t wait to see what happens when the peripheral market starts to understand that, whether team green, blue, Mario makers, or PC Master race we are all gamers and quality isn’t just the realm of the enthusiast. You can find out more about all the Mad Catz controllers when they launch over on the official Mad Catz website.

 

Written by
For those of you who I’ve not met yet, my name is Ed. After an early indoctrination into PC gaming, years adrift on the unwashed internet, running a successful guild, and testing video games, I turned my hand to writing about them. Now, you will find me squawking across a multitude of sites and even getting to play games now and then

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