Five Years Of Kone: Interview With Roccat CEO René Korte

Korte: Peripherals Designed By Gamers, For Gamers

Tom's Hardware: From day one, Roccat did all the product design on its own. Why is that?

Kone Pure - RedKone Pure - Red

René Korte: Like I mentioned, Roccat products offer features that really help people to get better in their games or that improve your gaming experience. This is what separates Roccat peripherals from the stuff our competitors build. But the only way to make sure our products have those features, and even more important, have them working flawlessly, is to build the products on our own. Scratch to shelf. You cannot rely on external guys that don’t care about your company and don’t care about gaming. Here at Roccat everyone has a passion for gaming, and it’s this passion that makes the company and our products really unique. We also wanted to keep this knowledge in the company, because Roccat never was meant to be a nine days’ wonder. Evolution is only possible if we build something inside the company that can be developed independently, without starting from scratch all the time with external agencies, or manufacturers that are only copying instead of innovating.

Tom's Hardware: Let’s get back to the Kone. How long did it take to have it on store shelves, and what problems did you face during the development process? 

Kone Pure - WhiteKone Pure - White

René Korte: We started with a team of six people. Most of them are still working here at Roccat. We did countless sketches, 3D renderings, and shape models to find the perfect design. What we did not do on our own was the software and electronics, and that was a big mistake. What we saw here did not fit our needs, so we decided to start working on that ourselves, too. That was after more than 12 months of work. Imagine that; we hadn’t earned one dollar up until then. That could have been the end of Roccat, but we decided to start all over again, and it was the absolute right decision. Times back then were crazy. We still have one guy working here who tested the first 60,000 Kone mice with his hands, to make sure the sensor was working correctly. We also always had huge support from the gaming community, and that’s also something that helped us getting through rough times.

Tom's Hardware: Today, Roccat is an established company. How do you stay in touch with the gaming community, and are there still connections to eSports?

René Korte: Roccat has its roots in eSports, and we will always stick to that. The feedback from more than 100 professional gamers influenced the shape of the Kone, for example. Danny Soerensen, one of the best professional FPS players ever, is a Roccat brand ambassador. We support many tournaments, events, and teams in eSports. We get feedback from professional gamers frequently, and knowing their needs is essential for our product development. But we also listen to the average user, of course. The Kone is the only mouse that has been improved over so many years, based on the feedback of our customers. We received so many requests for colors or certain features during the last five years, that we decided that now the time has come to let some of them become reality.

Kone Pure - BlueKone Pure - BlueKone Pure - BlackKone Pure - BlackKone Pure - OrangeKone Pure - Orange

So, the first special edition to celebrate this anniversary will be the Roccat Kone Pure Color. We created five awesome designs, including the original Kone Pure, and they will be available within the next weeks.

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  • merikafyeah
    If only the scroll-wheel on my MX-518 was more durable, I would consider it the best 5-button mouse in existence. Right now it's still usable, but the scroll-wheel is now "loose". By that I mean, sometimes the scroll will register before the wheel fully "clicks" to the next position. Afaik this cannot be fixed.

    At least it doesn't have that "single-clicks registering as double-clicks" issue many other gaming mice nowadays seem to suffer from every now and then.
  • slomo4sho
    Call me misinformed but this is the first time I have heard of this company...
  • dark_knight33
    slomo4shoCall me misinformed but this is the first time I have heard of this company...

    Roccat is a German company. They likely have a larger presence in Europe than the states. I have heard of the brand, but never seen any of their products at retail.

    Some of the mice look pretty similar to Logitech MX series. That's not to say Roccat copied them, I'm sure there are only so many ways to shape a mouse. Rather, I mean unless you are pretty picky, or want a certain feature Roccat has, it's likely they aren't a big in the US because Logitech & Razer are already serving the market well.
  • Marcus52
    Roccat's mice do have a lot of respect and if you ask people what their fav mouse is in a gaming forum, they will get their share of mentions. I recently considered one myself when looking at mice better suited to FPS gaming than my WoW MMORPG mouse made by Steelseries. I decided to go with a R.A.T. 7 and I'm glad I did, it is the best mouse I've owned so far. I don't think I would have been disappointed with a Roccat device though. The customization possibilities of the R.A.T. won me over, and they made it possible for me to fit it to my hand, which is fabulous. :)

    I didn't go with another Steelseries, even though their FPS-oriented mice have a good reputation amongst gamers, because the quality of the WoW mice wasn't up to my standards. I don't mind paying a premium price for a premium peripheral that will last for years, and while the WoW mice I have still function okay, okay isn't really good enough, the left and right-click buttons were not consistent on the 2 mice I have, and the finish is poor on both of them.
  • emdea
    Five years of kane
  • gorz
    The Roccat Kave is an awesome headset.
  • knowom
    I don't see any real appeal for a Roccat mouse personally honestly my mouse options are pretty much between Logitech and Razor brand mouses or if Microsoft ever improved the original IntelliMouse with modern button features and modern dpi/poll rate settings while maintaining the comfort feel of the original I'd probably consider that given it was probably the most comfortable mouse I've used or come across that I can think of.

    What I'd really like to see more then anything is a modern track mouse from Logitech that's got the same high DPI and poll rate settings and ample button triggers and similar layout to it's gaming mouses.

    It's a shame how badly Logitech has neglected it's track mouse and Microsoft has the IntellMouse because they were both very good and well designed when they first launched, but badly need a product refreshment due to their ages because since the specs don't come remotely close to more modern specs.

    If Roccat wants to get my interest make a modern track mouse that's laser based with a high polling rate and high DPI and nice array of customizable buttons in a nice ergonomic layout.
  • Anonymous
    I have a few roccat items, the Isku keyboard which I think for me is a good keyboard little pricey though, the roccat Kave ture 5.1 headset hmm great sound big bass, although I found it uncomfortable after a short time the little square pads left dents in my head and a feeling of pressure pains where the pads sat on my head the mic is poor design and now I use desk mic because my friends tell me they hear buzzing and poor quality sound when using the headset mic the head set was around 3-weeks old at this point but I love the sound on this headset so much I just pulled off the pads and made my own more comfortable padding I would not advise this headset I was honest, I also own the roccat kone xtd mouse which I love, all my roccat items I bought to replace my razer items that I felt I was ripped off with as they felt more like kids toys build quality when compared to my roccat items. I've also owned logitek items (very good compay) along with razer and madcatz (cyborg rat 3 and rat 7mmo) but for me my money will always goto roccat from now on, I suppose other than the headset this company seems to know that the feel of the build quality is as important as the performance of the product, I just felt more happy that what I had on my desk felt more like what i'd expect for my money than what razer did. I would say roccat in my eyes is better than razer and equal to logitek for quality.. im not a razer hater (lol almost was after the arctosa experience poorest build quality keyboard not worth 50pence I have every tried to use) I still have my razer nostromo which I think is the dogz nutz but for the money i cant help feeling razer is highly over rated when compared to other gamming companys of late. im sticking with what I feel is worth its money and that's roccat , but be warned the kave headset needs roccat to rethink the padding and mic setup.
  • J3d1M1nD7r1cKs
    I like their products! Looks like a good company to me! Please bring them to the us!

    And the I like the diversity in the products!
  • youssef 2010
    merikafyeahIf only the scroll-wheel on my MX-518 was more durable, I would consider it the best 5-button mouse in existence. Right now it's still usable, but the scroll-wheel is now "loose". By that I mean, sometimes the scroll will register before the wheel fully "clicks" to the next position. Afaik this cannot be fixed.At least it doesn't have that "single-clicks registering as double-clicks" issue many other gaming mice nowadays seem to suffer from every now and then.

    My Kone[+] had the same issue. There's a guide on YouTube that explains how to fix this using WD-40 and some duct tape. I used only the WD-40 and now my mouse feels good as new. Before the double click issue there was a problem with the scroll wheel of the mouse. The wheel would jitter and briefly scroll in the opposite direction. I initially e-mailed their tech support about this and, they told me it's a hardware issue and that I should replace my mouse. My new mouse started having the same issue after a while. I used a few drops of WD-40 and the issue never returned, even after a year and a half of usage.
  • youssef 2010
    I forgot to add that I bought a G9x for my other computer. Despite the hype I've heard about this mouse. I feel that more work went into the Kone[+]. Despite the issues I've had with the Kone[+], I don't think I'll be using any other brand of mice.

    I also own the Roccat Kave 5.1. This was my first gaming headphone and I still love everything about it. About the padding issue mentioned by "stevevnicks", I just cover my head before wearing the headset. This helps a lot. The Kave made me buy a soundcard for the first time in my life because I was experiencing interference with my on-board audio.

    Roccat is a great company. And clearly a lot of thought went into every one of their products. Some technologies like the EasyShift[+] and TDCU are unique to this company and I couldn't find something to match them
  • youssef 2010
    slomo4shoCall me misinformed but this is the first time I have heard of this company...

    I first heard of it when I was looking to buy my first gaming mouse