Here we have the Razer’s first Playstation fightstick, the Panthera. After numerous failures of the Atrox in compatibility with the Playstation, Razer was under pressure to release a Playstation specific fightstick.
Aesthetics and Design
When looking at the Panthera, it very clearly resembles Razer’s previous Atrox XBox fightstick. The Atrox and Panthera look almost identical — even their Razer logo artwork is almost the same, only in different col0r.
One major design change from the Atrox to the Panthera is the totally different top panel. The Panthera’s top panel is shifted from the left to the center, and a touchpad is added.
A flaw that plagued with Razer Atrox, which was otherwise an excellent fightstick, were quality issues. The top panel on the Panthera is noticably more firmly held in place when compared to the Atrox because it is glued on. This, though, makes customization more difficult since the top panel is no longer screwed on like on the Atrox.
The Panthera has a gas strut on the left side in addition to the spring loaded hinges for opening up the body. It’s interesting that they decided to use both hinges and the gas strut, because there are concerns about the quality of the pump.
However, the most important change that Razer made in the Panthera is the USB connector. The Panthera uses a nylon braided 5-pin aviation connector similar to the one found on the MadCatz TE2. This cable has a much better reliability reputation than the Atrox cable, but it’s difficult to find replacements so you still need to be careful with your cable.
The Panthera comes with eight 30mm Sanwa OBSF buttons and a JLF Joystick. The performance of the joystick is amazing, with precise clicks and smooth movement. The buttons are quite sensitive and spaced far apart.
Gaming latency is not something you should worry about, as the Panthera performed just fine in input lag tests with other fightsticks.
The Panthera is compatible with PC, but compatibility is iffy and may require some extra work and configuration.
Pressing on the Razer logo button on the front of the stick releases the top panel from the body and allows you to go inside and mod the stick. Like the Atrox, the Panthera is very mod friendly, something Razer is eager to advertise. It features color coded button wiring and wiring instructions, as well as a hexagonal screw
The Razer Panthera is a fairly pricey stick at $200, but for dedicated PS4 gamers who play fighting games, it’s worth the money. The excellent build quality and high quality button and levers make it a top tier fightstick.
Another very similar fighstick to the Panthera is the Qanba Obsidian, which is priced the same as the Panthera and has the same Sanwa lever and buttons. The Panthera probably has the edge in customization, but the Obsidian wins in the build quality department as Razer is not a brand known for its reliability.
Overall Score: 89/100