At first glance you might think you're looking at a maquette of the Batcycle. Or, based on another picture, maybe the Batarang. But, no, this is the Mad Catz Lynx 9, a mobile gaming controller that can cater for phones, phablets, tablets and pretty much any other gaming smart device that you may own. And it's awesome.
If, that is, you're serious about your mobile gaming. Because, elephant in the room moment, it costs £250 (or $299 for our American friends). It sure ain't cheap, but it's among the best-built controllers we've ever handled.
In its pocketable form the Lynx 9 comes as a compact little controller, ready to be tugged and pulled into its operational form. The top section, which folds back to cradle devices with screens up to 7-inches in size, can be unscrewed and removed if you want to use it as a separate Bluetooth controller.
Two metal wings unfold to create a comfortable hold, with two inner handles that can be screwed into place for extra grip, followed by the analogue thumbsticks which pull down into the correct position. It all feels super-premium - it's just a shame those extra inner handles aren't attached to the compacted controller and need to be carried separately. There is a carry case included, though, but it wasn't available at our preview session.
If Android is your gaming mecca then the Lynx 9 is the perfect partner - whether you game on tablet, phone, or both. We played Grand Theft Auto III via Android tablet - which is where the Batarang-like backplate come into play, making for a Wii U-sized controller, screen and all - and found the immediacy of response from the Bluetooth connection to be spot on. Bluetooth-capable PCs can also benefit, making for an ideal Steam controller.
We're used to the PlayStation 4 controller and the Mad Catz felt just right in terms of scale and comfort, it's of a very similar scale overall. That cool-to-touch metal finish feels great and ought to mean rugged longevity even when carting the Lynx 9 around on trains, planes and automobiles.
Going one step further than just basic console-like buttons, to the top the Lynx 9 is a cursor and two clickable buttons to mimic mouse-like operation. There's even a clip-in QWERTY keyboard included for heck's sake. Altogether ideal for interacting with Amazon Fire TV and similar; something further aided by the small microphone to the base of the device for voice-control, where applicable.
Keeping everything running is a rechargeable li-ion battery, tucked away in the back, which can be charged after depleting. It's said to give a full 20-hours of play time, which is more than any given tablet battery life is going to manage.
We've seen a lot of puny mobile gaming controllers and the Mad Catz Lynx 9 smashes them to smithereens. But we'd expect nothing less for £250.