I was pretty excited to have a chance to see some Mad Catz products in action. While you wouldn’t immediately think about LifeisXbox and this kind of gaming gear it was still fun and useful! With the increasing focus from Xbox on Windows it is great to provide some coverage about this subject.
First some history
Founded in 1989 Mad Catz was a beloved brand that mainly focused on accessories for PC and consoles. Known for GameShark, some Call of Duty controllers and the Rock band partnership. In February 2016 troubles started for this legendary brand with lay-offs, disappointing Rock Band sales and the loss of Saitek. Fast-forward to March 2017 the gaming industry was shocked (I know I was) to learn that Mad Catz filed for Chapter 7, also known for bankruptcy. Revived and back in the game in 2018 Mad Catz will launch a new line of products and LifeisXbox.eu was invited to check them out.
Gaming mouses for all price classes
From low price points to a little bit more expensive Mad Cats has you covered. Even the lowest priced mouses have great built quality aimed for precision and endurance. That’s also what we felt while testing the R.A.T. 1 or X3, while the difference between the both of them was huge you could still see the love for the product in the cheapest one. When you want the best of the best with high-performance you really should take a look at the R.A.T. X3 Pro, (more info on the website from Mad Catz) with an insane amount of customization. From hand palm or little finger rests, different scroll options, swappable sensors and a heck more I’m sure that every person will find a way to make the X3 how they precisely wanted. Oh and of course you have profiles on the mouses too so you can quickly swap from League of Legends to PUBG. Truly awesome gear and it makes me incredibly happy that Mad Catz is back from the grave.
Audio – my biggest friend
Gaming mouses wasn’t the only thing we tested of course, because Fortnite was updating we used a Youtube Dolby video to test some headsets too. I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t really impressed by the headsets products, I’m an audiophile and while I know less about gaming mouse’s I do know exactly what to expect from great headphones. While Mad Catz had some decent enough headsets it wasn’t as great like the gaming mouses or keyboards (and more importantly competition). The E.S. Pro + (image) has a great fit with the extra inner ear support and the detachable mic is cool too but the sound lacks a little punch, we got one to take home so I could actually test it pretty well. The F.R.E.Q. stereo headset with removable earpads (I wouldn’t try to wash it in your washer machine) had much better sound but felt short in sound when I compare it with my Plantronics headset.
It was refreshing to see a back to basics approach for the S.T.R.I.K.E. 2 and 4 keyboards. Gone are all the million, in my opinion useless features. With a strong and heavy aluminum plate the keyboards felt really durable and pretty. The light show underneath the keys could be used to give a EBM-party and was the only real show elements on the products. And I actually feel that this is something positive! Detachable keys are great for keeping your keyboard clean too.
Benefits of wired and wireless: R.A.T. Air
One of the most impressive things was the R.A.T. Air, this hybrid mouse mat and gaming mouse really caught my attention. No cable friction, no extra heat in the mouse and it just looks damn cool too! While couldn’t test it so we can’t report on ergonomics or lag free input but the concept sounds promising.
Overall Mad Catz is clearly back and I think it’s for the best for the gaming industry. We had a great time in the Radisson Blu suite and I would really like to thank the organisers for inviting us!