The L.Y.N.X. 9, Mad Catz' insane $300 mobile controller launched at CES 2015, just got a little brother – the L.Y.N.X. 3. It was announced at MWC 2015 together with the SURFr mobile keyboard controller.
Mad Catz is a realistic company – it doesn’t expect everyone to fork out the cost of a new console on a mobile controller. That’s why the L.Y.N.X. 3 is much cheaper than the 9 at $79 as opposed to $299. Although even at that price it’s not exactly cheap.
The L.Y.N.X. 3 mirrors the design of its bigger brother. The handgrips and analogue sticks fold in to make the controller a small bundle that's easily pocketable. Rubberised wings can be attached to provide a more console controller feel without adding too much weight.
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The version I held was a prototype and while it felt solid enough, it was a far cry from the heft and quality of the metal L.Y.N.X. 9.
The dual sticks feel firm but are a little too close together. We’d like to see Mad Catz change this design a little before release so that the sticks can be spread apart by another few centimeters.
Three modes of use will be available for the L.Y.N.X. 3: Gaming, Multimedia and PC. As the names suggest these will let you use the Mad Catz L.Y.N.X. 3 as a controller for different devices, not just a smartphone.
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A clip attachment will come with the L.Y.N.X. 3 when it goes on sale at the end of March, enabling you to attach your phone to the top of the controller. However, the L.Y.N.X. 3 won’t come with a tablet mount or the keyboard attachment of the L.Y.N.X. 9.
It really is too early to say whether the L.Y.N.X. 3 will be a gaming controller worth forking out $79 for. Ergonomically it feels sound, barring the thumbstick position mentioned, while the option to fold it up is neat. As the version we tried wasn’t final or working, we’ll reserve judgment until we get our hands on the final product.