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Razer unveils special edition Naga MMO gaming mice

How do you improve on awesome? That's a tough question, but the clever folks at Razer seem to have come up with an answer: Add some molten lava or a raging maelstrom. The gaming peripherals manufacturer announced today the Razer Naga Molten and Razer Naga Maelstrom special edition mice. Both mice sport the same specs as the original 17-button Razer Naga plus the addition of new, pulsating designs -- a swirling, cool blue maelstrom or glowing hot lava. If the themes seem familiar, it's probably no coincidence that these mice arrive just in time for Cataclysm, which is set to launch on Dec. 7.

The Razer Naga is designed specifically for MMO gaming, with a special addon for World of Warcraft, allowing players to bind their spells and abilities to the mouse's numerous buttons. The mouse also supports key mapping, the way most full-featured gaming mice can be configured, and also comes with drivers for the Mac. The new designs take the place of the current pulsating Razer logo on the palm end of the mouse, adding a different level of cool to the popular mouse. Either version of the special edition Razer Naga gaming mouse will retail for $79.99 -- about the same price as the regular version -- and will become available for pre-order on Oct. 12.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items

Gearing up for WoW: The Razer Naga [Updated]


We don't normally do hardware reviews. That's usually the domain of the guys over at our sister site, Engadget. But when Razer broke out the $79.99 Razer Naga last August 19 at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany (along with a glow-in-the-dark mousepad), and previewed it a BlizzCon a few days later, we knew we just had to get our hands on it and take it out for a spin. This was Razer's first mouse aimed squarely at the MMO market, and at World of Warcraft players specifically. It isn't the first mouse that tried to appeal to the huge MMO player base -- Steelseries unleashed a World of Warcraft mouse last year, although some players found some issues with the mouse and the way it interacted with the game. In hindsight, we probably should've done our own review of that product. So when Razer announced that the Naga "wasn't going be just a great MMO mouse (but) the best MMO mouse," we weren't going to let the opportunity slip away.

[Update: Razer's Heathcliff Hatcher aka Razer|Agent responded to some concerns about the Razer Naga and how its keys currently can't be remapped right out of the box without third party applications. Razer|Agent says, "software driver remapping of keys is a standard function for most of Razer products and we do have suitable solutions that we intend to release in the near future for Naga that will enable this feature out of game." This means that the standard 123 and NUM configurations should be remappable through a future update.]

Mike wrote an excellent hands-on report on the Razer Naga when we were at BlizzCon which should give everyone a fair idea of what we're dealing with. Writing a product review for an MMO gaming mouse wasn't going to be a simple task -- one reason there aren't too many full reviews of the Razer Naga is because it takes a bit of commitment to do it. Unlike first person shooters or even real-time strategy games where about an hour or two of gameplay would be enough to give fair impressions of the mouse, properly assessing an MMO gaming mouse needs to be an immersive experience. It requires mapping keys and adapting one's personal playing style to accommodate the hardware.

As I'd mentioned in my gearing series that talked briefly about gaming mice, the features of most modern gaming mice are far beyond what MMOs generally demand. You won't need 5600dpi, insane APM (Actions-Per-Minute) values, or even fancy technologies like Razer's HyperResponse buttons. If there's any indication that Razer is on the right track with the Naga, it's that they've loaded it with buttons. MMO players tend to press a lot of buttons. They also took the extra step of creating (or adapting) an AddOn that allows the mapping of keybindings from inside the game. When the Razer Naga finally arrived at my doorstep after a torturous tussle with an ineffectual DHL, I finally buckled down -- as Razer would say -- to get imba. Let's take a closer look at the Razer Naga after the jump.

Gallery: Razer Naga

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guides, Hardware

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