While this column typically looks at recently launched peripherals, today is something different. Today is the Razer Atrox: a new arcade stick coming from the widely respected accessory manufacturer this summer. Designed to be everything the hardcore beat-‘em-up fan could wish for, the Razer Atrox is a sturdy build featuring a fully customisable faceplate and input devices.
Set to be available internationally this month, the Razer Atrox prides itself on its versatility. To the untrained eye (or hand) it may appear to be a fairly standard arcade stick – button layout and joystick design are arranged in the typical fashion, and the bulky box comes complete with a headset socket and guide button – but the Razer Atrox does much more than just provide another arcade stick option in that online catalogue. How else would it justify that significantly higher price tag?
Customisability. This is not just the Razer Atrox’s buzzword, but its entire ethos. Featuring eight programmable macros as standard, players can customise the device via the bundled software. However, this is just the start. The entire build of the Razer Atrox is designed for easy implementation of your own ideas. The gas powered lid pops open to reveal an empty case that uses minimal screws to keep it’s components in place, including a space for a second joystick (both ball and bat style joysticks are included) and the compact brain. The buttons and joysticks are Sanwa standard allowing for easy replacement and the detachable cable is a standard USB connection (including the familiar Xbox 360 shock absorber).
The Razer Atrox is being developed exclusively for the Xbox 360 due to what the developers see as a larger beat-‘em-up audience on the format, but this also means that the device is fully compatible with Games for Windows LIVE titles. This includes Capcom’s Street Fighter line-up and the Mortal Kombat Arcade Collection, further increasing the versatility of the device.
A weighty product despite its empty casing, the Razer Atrox sits well on a flat surface but also comfortably on your lap. Its rubberised base allows for grip that, coupled with it’s remarkably solid design, can rival any top tier arcade stick currently available in the UK. Looking at its price tag the Razer Atrox may be a step too far for most beat-‘em-up fans, but those who take their competitive virtual fighting seriously couldn’t find a more balanced and customisable arcade stick for the Xbox 360 and PC.