It has been a long time since I first saw the Onza, Razer's professional-grade Xbox 360 controller; though it made its debut at CES 2010 and has made appearances at a number of tradeshows since, it has only now been finalized for production. So, what's changed over the last year and a half? Quite a bit.
From the very beginning, the Onza's staple features included adjustable resistance for both analog sticks, two additional shoulder buttons that can be digitally remapped for a variety of functions, and a specialized d-pad. However, many elements of the controller have been tweaked and revised in the finalized version.
The resistance adjustment mechanism, which allows users to manually adjust the tension of the analog thumbsticks for either more rigid or fluid motion, has been significantly improved. In earlier encounters, twisting the dials underneath the thumbsticks resulted in only slight changes in resistance, whereas now there is a much larger range of tension, allowing for finer adjustments.
The edges of the controller also no longer feature green LED illumination, and the d-pad now sports four individual directional buttons with concave indentation to replicate the feel of the original Xbox 360 controller design.
The other key feature of the Onza is its dual shoulder button design, which adds an extra set of shoulder buttons, which can be remapped to serve a variety of functions, for instance, L3 or R3 commands. On a standard Xbox 360 controller, pushing in on the thumbsticks will enable sprinting, melee, or in FPS titles, steady aim, however, attempting to depress the thumbstick while aiming or moving in a specific direction can have disastrous results, like missing crucial headshot opportunities or meleeing too soon.