The first thing which a gamer using the Onza Tournament Edition will notice is that the controller has a significantly different feel to the standard Microsoft model. This starts with a much nicer soft touch coating and the tweaked grip area shape gives a much more solid feel in the hand. The redesigned trigger buttons also help with the more stable hold and the 4.5m braided cable should provide plenty of length and durability for most gamers.
We do like the redesigned shape of the Onza, it looks ideal and feels good however there is one area we would probably have changed. The top left and right corners on the front of the controller feel a little too angled/sharp and could do with being more rounded as depending on the hold when using the multi-function buttons they do have the potential to slightly dig into the fingers.
For the buttons, they are a real highlight on the Onza. Razer have taken their keyboard and mouse experience and applied them to the controller very successfully. The ABXY buttons for example feel like high quality mouse parts and the shoulder buttons have a keyboard like sound and feel. Here is an example of the sounds generated by the controller buttons.
Elsewhere on the pad we have a d-pad which has quite a retro feel to it, which is a good thing. It feels like the pads we used as gamers growing up and should feel quite natural to most gamers. The sticks though are where the Onza really excels. Harking back to controllers of the 90s which allowed us to tweak the resistance of our joysticks the dials Razer have added to our 360 analog sticks work really well. Whether it is tailoring the resistance to suit a particular game or just finding a setting which is best suited to our overall play style they offer great flexibility which really enhances the gaming experience.
So, to this point our experience has been very positive. Were there any minor issues with the product? A couple, though they will be very much down to the users preference as to whether they are really a problem. The first is the force feedback. Razer have packed a powerful feedback generator into the Onza and it feels great, though it could do with being a little quieter as some may find it a little too noticeable. Secondly we have the location of the back and start buttons which require a bit of a thumb stretch to reach, we can actually see many people programming one of the multi-function buttons to be Start because of this.
Having said that, the fact that the Onza Tournament Edition can be tweaked to assign different commands to the top two shoulder buttons is another great selling point of the controller. Rather than have to put up with pre-determined button layouts we can tweak to our liking, enhancing our ability to game.
So that brings us to value. At £49.99/$49.99 the Onza is clearly aimed at serious gamers as this is a significant jump over the wireless Microsoft controller and even more over the wired version. There is an expensive feel to the device, no doubt about it, but value could have been improved by a slightly lower price point and maybe even the inclusion of a travel pouch for those who attend eSports events.
The Onza Tournament Edition controller achieves what it sets out to do, improve on the standard Microsoft version and enhance our gaming. Its great performance when playing mixed with some excellent features means we have a very impressive product and one which combined with the Chimaera headset very much improves our XBOX 360 or PC gaming experience.