MLG Places Ban on Razer Onza – New Xbox 360 Controller for Tournament Play

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This news has just come to our attention via the MLG forums (page 24 sees the admins respond):

MLG Rules State:

"Players may not use a controller with Turbo capabilities, Button Mapping capabilities, or Wireless capabilities, and they may not use a Play and Charge Kit. Controllers with Turbo capabilities allow Players to press a button that results in their Character performing a set of actions that would normally require the Player to press the same button multiple times. Controllers with Button Mapping capabilities allow Players to map a button sequence to a specific button. Pressing that button results in their Character performing a set of actions that would normally require the Player to press multiple buttons."

Razer’s new controller features adjustable tension on the analog sticks and two multi-function buttons (MFB’s) at your fingertips (in the form of additional bumper buttons), the Razer Onza lets every gamer modify their controller to work exactly how they need it to while keeping comfort at the heart of every detail. The controller also features lit, mechanical buttons.

According to users who have actually tried the Onza controller, it has mappable bumpers that only allow the user to re-map one key press to the extra buttons, not giving any user the ability to actually "perform a set of actions".

From the GamesCom Press Kit:

The Razer Onza Tournament Edition Professional Gaming Controller for Xbox 360 was created to improve the players Xbox 360 gaming experience with a series of special features, including Razer Hyperesponse buttons, designed to give faster actuation and a crisp, tactile feel. The Razer Onza will allow gamers to vary the tension required product mock ups from press kitto tilt the analog stick for maximum comfort and customization bringing an element of personal preference to the world of console gaming.

Razer has also added multi-function buttons (MFB) that can be mapped to act as one of the action buttons, the analog stick buttons or an auto-fire button by using a sliding selector switch on the bottom of the controller (this was not available on the units GDN saw).

According to Kasey aka "Killa KC" one of MLG’s Senior Game Tester and Tournament Director, he posted this bit of information on the MLG Forums in regards to the Worldwide Premier of Razer’s new Xbox 360 Controller:

"Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but the Onza controller will be illegal simply because of the 2 programmable buttons. We spoke to Razer about this and told them that it would be illegal if they kept the extra buttons. I guess it wasn’t worth it for them to make a version without the extra buttons.

The big issue with extra buttons is how easy it is to mod the controller without us being able to monitor it. Modders will be able to turn the extra buttons into rapid fire buttons or a macro like RRX. We cannot simply check every player’s Onza controller to make sure they have not modded it. Sure, someone could do that now with a Microsoft controller, but by doing that they are removing a default button on their controller. People pay a lot of money now for modded controllers with extra buttons that will rapid fire or macro. The Onza would make it impossible for us to monitor this on the circuit.

Just to make it clear, there is no conspiracy here. I wish Razer would have listened to us and cared enough to make a version without the extra buttons, but they didn’t.

Edit: The Mad Catz controller will not have programmable buttons."

It does sound like there is more to this discussion than is appearing to the public eye, as the logic and justification just don’t seem to add up to the decision. In this writer’s opinion the key mapping should already be made possible by game developers, this isn’t the 80’s where your either left or right-handed, and I think we shouldn’t be constrained to the "Run N Gun" vs " "Original" controller layout. Really, how hard is it to add a menu in game to remap your key-presses? Not very considering most games end up doing it for their PC releases anyway.

Another thing to contemplate is the talk in the thread about a conspiracy and deal made between Mad Catz and the MLG for an upcoming MLG edition controller. It seems a lot of MLG fans posting there aren’t happy with the decision to use controllers that the MLG has previously banned, and especially one that so many users have had problems with in regards to quality.

The MLG reps were catching some flak over their decision, so they decided to lock the thread to prevent further discussion.

One of the Founders of Razer, Robert "Razerguy" Krakoff had a few things to say about the MLG decision:

"The Onza controller has been banned by MLG ... without even having one in their hands! How funny is that? LMAO"

"The truth is that this kind of stupidity only makes ppl want one even more. Plus providing me with endless laughter. Also it is so comical when they closed the thread while the community was raking them over the coals. Laugh a minute operation"

Razer told GDN’s Christophor Rick, at GamesCom this past week in Cologne, Germany that there will be two versions of the controller a Tournament edition and a Standard Edition priced at 39.99 and 49.99 (Euro/Dollar/Pound most likely). They will be compatible with Windows as well as the Xbox 360. They should hit retail this October and GDN should receive one for review before then as well. The standard edition will be without the tension rings but will have the remappable buttons (he thinks, it was a long conference).

In : PC

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