In a surprise announcement during this year’s CES in Las Vegas, Mad Catz returned to the world of gaming peripherals. Now based out of Hong Kong, the company’s new owners traveled all the way to Cologne for Gamescom – where we met up to learn what’s new and exciting.
The fact that Mad Catz was in Cologne for Gamescom was actually a bigger surprise than most of you would think. In recent years, we’ve seen many of the traditional big players in the peripheral industry scale down their Gamescom presence, and Roccat even skipped the show altogether this year (although they did have a strong showing at E3).
When we last met with Mad Catz at Gamescom two years ago, their range of products was “eclectic”. Next to their own products, they also had the Tritton line of headphones and peripherals under the Saitek brand name – ranging from keyboards to flight sticks. Both the Tritton and Saitek lines have now been sold, allowing Mad Catz to return with a clear initial focus on a core lineup of products.
That means we didn’t see any of our beloved Fightsticks this year, but we did see a clear indication of the direction Mad Catz is going for at the moment. Their core portfolio currently consists of a wide range of gaming mice (they’ve brought back the R.A.T. brand), two gaming keyboards (the S.T.R.I.K.E. name is back as well) and a pair of audio products – the E.S. Pro+ ear buds and a stereo version of the F.R.E.Q. headset range. Many familiar names, with a few subtle modifications that include a special anti-spill design for keyboards and small visual redesigns across the board.
Mad Catz certainly isn’t done though – their current focus may be on a select core group of products (very much in line with what we’re seeing others do), but once they ‘get the basics right’ they’re keen on expanding their range. How they plan on doing that? They just released a little teaser video that might give us a hint or two about upcoming developments – see for yourself: