Mad Catz is back from the dead with new PC gaming hardware

They're "back in the game"

Credit: Mad Catz

It’s been less than a year since Mad Catz filed for bankruptcy, smothered under a pile of unsold Rock Band peripherals, probably a few warehouses of Saitek flight sticks, and who knows what else. Did you miss them? Then wipe those tears away because Mad Catz is “back in the game.”

Their words, not mine.

Yes, Mad Catz is back, and seemingly focused on the PC landscape. Its website is live now, with a staggering eight different versions of the RAT mouse right out the gate, five mousepads, two versions of the Strike keyboard, the ES Pro “gaming earbuds,” and the Freq 4 headset.

It’s quite a lineup, though there are a few standouts. The RAT Air for instance is a wireless version of the iconic mouse, with a gimmick: It comes with an RGB mousepad that powers the mouse while you play. Unlike Logitech’s Powerplay tech, there’s no battery inside the mouse itself—meaning you’ll have to plug it in when away from your computer. But it’s an interesting concept, and I’m curious to see how it works, if it works at all.

Mad Catz RAT Air Mad Catz

At least...I think that's what the website's saying. It's a bit unpolished.

There are also a half-dozen wired iterations of the RAT, featuring different sensors, different levels of customization, and so on. The most advanced is the return of the RAT Pro X3, which lets you not only swap every single side panel but also the mousewheel casing and the sensor. Also interesting: It uses the PWM3389 sensor, which up until now was a proprietary design for the DeathAdder Elite and a handful of other Razer mice.

[ Further reading: The best gaming mice ]

Keyboard and headset offerings are decidedly more tame. The Strike 4 is a pretty standard-looking RGB mechanical keyboard, and at the moment Mad Catz’s copy doesn’t say what switches it’ll employ. The transparent switch housing leads me to believe it’s Cherry switches, but that’s just a guess.

Mad Catz Strike 4 Mad Catz

Then there’s the Freq 4 headset, which...well, it’s a gaming headset.

In any case, Mad Catz is back. I’m a bit surprised honestly that they kept the brand—after all, for many people the Mad Catz name is synonymous with the busted second-player controller your friend/older sibling foisted off on you before kicking your ass in Smash Bros. “Oh yeah, sorry, the A button just doesn’t work anymore,” they’d say before going on a 10-game winning streak.

But uh, that was the old Mad Catz. This is a new Mad Catz, formed from the ashes and according to CNET now owned by some sort of Chinese holding company. Welcome back?

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Hayden Dingman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?