As the massive crowdfunding starship that is Star Citizen cruises ever closer towards an official release, it’s not surprising to start seeing purpose-built controllers and merchandise pop up. At the same time, I don’t think anything could’ve prepared us properly for the hardcore battlestation glory that is the Star Citizen HOTAS from Mad Catz. The peripheral manufacturer brought the massive setup to the annual CitizenCon in Manchester, England, and showed off the new gear.
The sprawling control panel has every attachment you could possibly need. The full-sized throttle has a trackball on it for weapons on a gimbal, and a throttle setup, plus a small control panel with extra macro buttons. There’s a full keyboard as well, complete with numpad and gaming keys, but the Mad Catz controller has one more trick up its sleeve.
All the pieces are modular. With special connectors on each piece of the setup, the controller can be reoriented in a number of different configurations. The keyboard even splits in half so the numpad can be used as its own panel. It’s a really novel feature, and will be especially useful for fitting the entire setup into smaller spaces and custom builds.
Despite how cool it looks, the Mad Catz controller for Star Citizen is still in the development phase, and the brand intends to improve the design with feedback from users. And as it turns out, this monument to video game space battles is just the entry-level model. There’s another premium model coming down the pipeline with a small OLED panel for additional information, but Mad Catz says it’s not quite ready to show to the public.
There’s no release information as of yet, and with the still-in-flux nature of the project, it’s doubtful we’ll see these on shelves before next year. Still, it’s good to know that bonkers Star Citizen controllers are, in fact, in the works.