LAS VEGAS, NV -- Mad Catz, a company known for weird but fun (and often expensive) gaming peripherals, is back from bankruptcy. (Insert nine lives pun here.)
After selling off assets to raise cash in 2016--it sold the Saitek brand to Logitech for $13 million--the company officially filed for bankruptcy in March 2017. PricewaterhouseCoopers took over as trustee of the Mad Catz Interactive estate and presumably oversaw the further liquidation of assets and subsidiaries.
Pre-CES PR clues led us to suspect that the brand was about to re-emerge, and just ahead of the massive tradeshow next week, both UberStrategist and Little Big PR announced this morning that Mad Catz is back. The releases proudly stated that the company is back “under new management, with new ideas, new attitude,” and of course a range of new products.
“We couldn’t be more excited than to begin 2018 by announcing the return of Mad Catz to the global gaming arena. Mad Catz has been a permanent fixture in gaming for almost three decades and we firmly believe it’s best days lie ahead,” said Selena Chang, Director of Sales and Operations for Mad Catz Global Limited in a release.
The company’s return is of course heralded by a new line of gear. We don’t have much detail yet, but we do know that there’s a handful of mice, a mechanical keyboard, and a couple of headsets.
A short teaser video offers some visual clues about the new peripherals:
Much of the company’s product nomenclature remains. There’s the Rat 8+ mouse (or is that a 6?), which predictably has bells and whistles like extra roller wheels and what appears to be a height-adjustable palm rest. It boasts a sharp black matte, shiny black, and red color scheme.
The Rat Air has an exoskeleton-like construction and promises full adjustability and wired or wireless connections. There’s a wireless power system involved--a growing trend, it seems, in the mouse world.
There’s next to no information about the new keyboard, the Strike 4, other than the facts that it’s fully mechanical and has RGB lighting as well as an aluminum frame. From the brief glimpses you get in the teaser video, you can see that it’s a rather restrained design; it’s black on black with white legends, with only a funky graphic on the front bezel for sizzle. A product shot from the press kit, though, reveals that these are “RGB” switches of some kind, meaning that the switch housing are clear to let the light explode all over the surface of the keyboard. You can also see that it’s a full-size form factor.
There’s also a pair of “Freq” headsets. One is a more standard over-the-ear cup design (40mm neodymium drivers and a metal plated frame), and the other is a stripped-down, lightweight earpiece and mic design. Both offer a staid all-black design, although the larger Freq 4 has an RGB secret:
Although it wasn’t in the teaser video, there are also multiple a “Glide” gaming surfaces; one of the them, at least, appears to contain the wireless power that the Rat Air mouse uses.
We’ll certainly learn more about Mad Catz’ new peripherals--and potentially more about the bankruptcy adventures--at CES 2018 next week.