Back in 2016, Razer released the Raiju, a pro-oriented (and appropriately expensive) wired PS4 controller that aimed to fit the needs of a fast expanding esports market.
Fast forward a couple of years and we get the Raiju Ultimate (#199/AU$349, around $250), an officially accredited premium peripheral that improves on its challenging predecessor’s goals in almost every manner.
It adds wireless Bluetooth performance, but it is this casual new feature that ultimately stumbles, tripping the flawless performance of this accessory.
- Razer Raiju Ultimate in Amazon for US$209.90
The very first thing you’ll discover about Razer’s Raiju Ultimate is how significant it feels in comparison to other PS4 offerings, like Sony’s standard DualShock 4, or even SCUF’s comparably high-end Vantage: it weighs in at a reasonably hefty 352 grams/0.77 lbs, and it is immediately apparent how dense and physically solid this peripheral is. Regrettably, you can not correct the bulk of of the Raiju Ultimate such as, state, Nacon’s Revolution Pro 2 control, so if you are not fond of accessories that are heavier, there aren’t any swappable weights.
The good thing is that, should you like a gamepad that seems as though it would likely still function after being dropped out of a California Redwood canopy, then the Ultimate has you covered (NOTE: Do not do this). Twist it around and you’ll discover a rubberized grip coating on the handles.
With its traditional side-by-side analog sticks, the Raiju Ultimate is more DualShock 4 than Xbox One gamepad, a design option that honors traditional PS4 input layout, but is certain to disappoint gamers who favor Microsoft’s off-kilter choice (for those players, the cheaper Raiju Tournament Edition is highly recommended). The metal sticks feel absolutely sublime, although they may encounter as a bit loose to a – it’s not that whipping back to center is postponed or something, but they do reset in a somewhat relaxed manner, particularly when compared to choices like SCUF’s Vantage or even Sony’s pack-in controller.
Magnetized thumbstick shirts can be pulled off and changed out for some of the concave or convex alternatives which adds the mix and a few wonderful height. The same holds for both directional pads that are pack-in, though each possess a type of plastic rigidity that is inexpensive, so neither sense perfect.
Conversely, the Chroma-outlined touch pad, in addition to the Mecha-Tactile face buttons, are a pleasure to press. Frankly, it’s difficult after undergoing the goodness of the action inputs of the Ultimate to use anything else.
Similar to the first Raiju, you will find four extra multi-function buttons around the Ultimate that may be immediately programmed with either the bespoke app or on-the-fly with button combinations and vibration verification: M1 and M2 sit between the L2 and R2 triggers (that could be corrected with buttons to be hair triggers) whereas M3 and M4 have been smartly flattened and now conveniently rest toward the back of the Raiju’s handles, though during heated gambling sessions, it is still far too easy to accidentally press them.
The settings buttons across the bottom of the controller are changed into a more incorporated membrane spread from an outcropped panel. Here you will get a Profile button for shifting button designs in real-time, a Configure button for linking to the app, a Chroma input for changing the awesome integrated lighting and a convenient Lock button that disables a huge part of menu inputs such as Options, the PlayStation button and each the Raiju controller panel. This is a huge improvement over the Raiju ledge panel design, and the lumps feel good to push.
It is essential to note that, as of the writing, Razer does not have the license so this peripheral is a PAL-exclusive. The good news is the Ultimate will join –both wired and wireless–with North American PS4 consoles, so it’s import-friendly. No matter what region you utilize the greatest in, Bluetooth play leaves much to be desired, but we’ll get to that in a little bit.
The free mobile app, which you may download on either iOS or even Android, permits you to connect wirelessly to the Ultimate and customize its functionality, though you do not necessarily need it to remap Multi-Fuction buttons in the event that you’d rather just do this via the controller itself. Options, which may be separately applied to four separate color-coded gameplay profiles (Shooter, Fighting, Sports or Racing) include features like analog stick sensitivity, vibration engine power and Chroma lighting taste. As soon as you program a profile for your liking, it may be toggled while gambling through the Profile control panel on the Raiju.
Regrettably, you can not remap inputs like the face buttons or shoulder triggers, only the Multi-Functions, at least in this moment. Moreover, you can see which firmware version your Raiju is operating on the app, but you can’t upgrade it (that requires PC access), which feels just like a silly oversight.
But besides those tiny complaints, the program is strong, super easy to use and makes for tweaking.
Ultimate is a easy-to-toggle switch which moves between wired USB PS4 Bluetooth and PC Bluetooth. USB mode, for the most part, charges the Ultimate while connected and works flawlessly on every platform. Bluetooth mode, on the other hand, is a completely different story.
While quite simple to pair (it merely has to be done once), actually playing games, specifically online or competitive names, over Bluetooth may be an exercise in frustration.
There is a noticeable amount of lag, probably a few milliseconds, when using the Raiju Ultimate in wireless mode, and this also occurs on both PS4 and PC. This is particularly apparent supplementing at a DualShock 4, which illuminates the issue with contrast, or when shifting between both wired and wireless modes.
This was the case over two review components that are different, and that was after updating each Ultimates’ internal firmware to the newest build, a repair that allegedly addressed a nagging right-stick drifting difficulty that players were reporting. Sadly, it did little (or nothing) to change present latency problems, which, incidentally, sometimes leak into the otherwise outstanding wired manner. When it happens, it’s difficult to look past, although it’s not all the time.
To be fair, it seems that Razer’s software engineers know about the issue and they are supposedly working on a repair. This is firmware-related and may be patched out in forthcoming revisions. That aside drama is actually the only way to go with this Raiju Ultimate, despite the fact that some floating lag hiccups are still faced by even tethered mode. A remarkably frustrating disadvantage to some peripheral that practically checks each other need-it box.
To be amazed with a control despite wireless lag problems is a testament to its overall build quality, but it is difficult to excuse amateur problems. The Raiju Ultimate is tough to beat, and this has over a standard DualShock 4 are evident when shoddy Bluetooth connectivity isn’t a deal-breaker for you, then the benefits.
Then at that point, you might save some money and purchase perhaps, or the feature-lite Raiju TE the densely capable SCUF Vantage.
If it had been possible to ignore the pesky wireless Bluetooth (and occasional wired) lag, the Raiju Ultimate could have grown into one of the very best PS4 and PC controllers in the marketplace. Hopefully Razer realize the full potential of the Ultimate and can iron out its firmware issues, but until that point, you might want to appear elsewhere for your pro-quality PS4 control requirements.