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Victrix is launching what it calls the world’s fastest Xbox controller as well as a new wireless gaming headset.
The San Diego, California-based company designed both products for hardcore gamers who want to get the most out of their gaming peripherals. They were both designed in consultation with esports teams.
The controller works on both the PC and Xbox family of game consoles. It features fast thumbsticks, triggers, and button responses. While one of its cores handles fast input processing, the other core runs the controller’s audio including built-in Dolby Atmos, giving players optimal spatial awareness for a competitive edge.
“For our esports consumers, and those fans at home that aspire to play at their very best, there are a few factors that are essential,” said Ali Homayounfar, product manager for esports (and a former esports player) at Performance Designed Products, owner of Victrix, in a press briefing. “When it comes to gaming controllers, speed naturally is at the top of that list. Because winning or losing, especially in the competitive environments, is often determined by milliseconds. And the same is true when you’re playing at home competitively.”
The controller also features adjustable trigger stops, 14 included swappable components, the ability to customize settings in the Victrix app, and a carrying case. Victrix said the claim about having the world’s fastest Xbox controller is based on an independent lab testing of Xbox controllers by NTS in August 2021 of average digital and analog input latency with a wired connection and audio running on Xbox Series X consoles.
Building a better controller
To build a better controller, the company had to understand how latency, or interaction dealys, affects gameplay. It studied the systems, both on the console and the PC, that slow things down and produce noticeable lag for gamers.
“The more lag that you have, the more of a gap that exists between a player’s intended actions and what actually happens on the screen,” Homayounfar said.
Some factors are beyond your control, and lag can be caused by a variety of factors, like input latency, the console or PC’s system latency, and the display’s latency. Victrix focuses on the parts that it can control. The company benchmarked Xbox controllers, testing them for speed with a wired connection first. It measured latency related to button pushes, bumper presses, trigger movement, and thumbstick movement. It discovered these lag problems could be measured in milliseconds.
“We have discovered that not all controllers are created equal when it comes to input latency,” said Navin Kumar, chief marketing officer of PDP, in a press briefing.
And it found that by splitting the processing between audio tasks and controller tasks, it could make the system faster, and the company found that its controller can be as much as eight times faster than other controllers on the market when it comes to analog inputs, he said. The controller has been licensed and tested through Microsoft’s Xbox team.
“When it comes to latency, the Gambit controller has faster buttons, triggers and thumbsticks than any controller on Xbox today, bar none,” Kumar said.
With the Gambit controller, a button push will show up in the next frame 99% of the time for digital inputs and 90% of the time for analog inputs such as the thumbstick or trigger. The nearest competing controller can only do this about 33% of the time for digital inputs and 10% of the time for analog inputs, Kumar said.
You can use an app to configure customizations such as the controls to map to your back paddles, and you can do this on the fly, even while playing a game.
The Victrix Gambit Wireless Gaming Headset
The new Gambit headset uses much of the same acoustic design, lightweight components, and comfortable materials as the well-regarded Victrix Pro AF Headset, which debuted in 2018. I used that headset for a couple of years. And while I didn’t win any tournaments with it, I liked its noise-cancellation features.
The Gambit headset can be used wirelessly for up to 40 feet or wired with an included 3.5mm cable that features in-line controls. The headset also comes with a lifetime subscription to Dolby Atmos on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PCs, and the PlayStation 5 version of the headset can use 3D Audio for more immersion. The Victrix Gambit headset is also the first officially licensed wireless headset designed for PlayStation 5.
Kumar that the company’s in-house engineering team works side-by-side with esports pros to create products that fit their needs. They take that advice and design it into products that both everyday gamers and pros can enjoy, at approachable price points, he said.
The controller is available today at VictrixPro.com and select gaming retailers for $100, while the wireless headset is available today for $130.
I’ve tried out both the controller and the headset. The controller comes with several options that were interesting to me. The USB-C connector plug is recessed so that it’s less likely your cable gets damaged if it gets yanked out while you’re charging it. It also comes with black-and-white or purple-black color options. I used a taller right analog stick that came with the parts included.
Homayounfar told me that it could help with more precise aiming when taking aim with a sniper rifle in a first-person shooter game. I’ve used it in both Call of Duty: Warzone and Aliens: Fireteam Elite matches over the weekend. But I can’t say I have any definitive proof yet that it will help me. But it is nice to have the option.
I also liked the many different options for things like how quickly your stick moves around the edges. And the purple cover was very easy to attach to the magnets that hold it onto the controller’s surface.
The headset has a mute function where you push the mic up to mute it, which is great when your family is making a lot of noise in the background that you don’t want your teammates to hear. It has an audio jack if you need to use a wired connection, but it is meant to be used as a wireless headset.
The wireless headset doesn’t have any big frills like lighting on the ear cups, but that’s no big deal. The cables that they supply are nice and long and that makes it easier to use. It’s lightweight and easy to put on your head, and that’s what matters. In fact, it feels much lighter than the older Victrix headset. The sound quality is good. And while I have yet to win any big matches with it, I have high hopes for it.
The Victrix brand
Victrix was founded in 2017 with a focus on esports with a mission to create the best headsets, microphones, and controllers. It has a low-latency fight stick for fighting games that it says can give players an edge when they go head-to-head against other players in a fighting game. Products like that have given Victrix cred among gaming fans, Homayounfar said.
“We are very heavy in the esports community. We sponsor major tournaments and players from the likes of [pro fighting game player] Justin Wong,” Homayounfar said. “On the FPS side, we have good relationships with top pros, organizers, and teams.”
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