Get more game from your mobile devices with these made-for-iPhone controllers
Let’s face it: if we’re not spending several hundred hours on our mobile phones playing Candy Crush or the latest flavour of Angry Birds, gaming can be quite an annoying and frustrating experience on the go. There simply isn’t enough real estate on the screen of an iPhone or iPod touch to accommodate touch-based input, or there’s just about enough, in which case we’re left staring at our fingers rather than the screen in the hope of getting through that particularly difficult patch in a game we’re playing. Good thing for us, there are three very serviceable options for making serious gaming on our iPhones, iPods, and in one particular case, even iPads a possibility.
Possibly the sleekest-looking of the lot, Logitech’s game controller is compatible with the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPod touch 5th Generation (strangely, the controller doesn’t work with an iPhone 5c). In terms of positives, it’s very thin, with a width of just 63mm, while supporting a variety of the latest iOS7 games. It also sports a 1500 mAh battery, which will be of tremendous use when your iPhone invariably runs out of juice after a long session of GTA: San Andreas. The downsides? First, you won’t be able to plug in your headset directly, because the PowerShell needs an adapter (included in the box). But more glaringly, the PowerShell doesn’t have any analog sticks, which means you’ll still need to alternate between using the physical buttons on the controller and your device’s touchscreen when required.
Denmark based gaming peripheral manufacturer SteelSeries has an extremely compact controller in the works. The soon-to-be-available Stratus controller, in addition to being a tiny thing that will easily fit into the smallest hands, is wireless, meaning it will work with literally any new iOS device (iPhone 5 or later, iPad Mini or later, iPad 4th Gen or later). SteelSeries also claims that the Stratus will support up to four players on a single iOS device, prompting players with a blinking light when it’s their turn. The on-board battery promises 10 hours on a single charge, but Bluetooth connectivity means that your mobile device’s battery will drain faster. Unlike the other two controllers mentioned in this article, the Stratus will offer no battery backup to your device, and will not be usable when it is charging via USB.
Moga Ace Power
Almost as big as a full-sized gaming controller, the Moga Ace Power offers a feature-rich portable gaming solution. In addition to sporting dual analogue sticks, and an 1800 mAh internal battery which will act as a backup for your 5th generation iPhone or iPod, its flexible design allows you to mount your device in landscape mode for gaming and compress the controller into a compact shape when not in use. It appears to combine the best of both worlds, but the fact that it isn’t wireless means that it will not work on your iPad right now. But the trade-off of battery backup for versatility seems fair.
As of now, it looks as though only the Logitech PowerShell will soon be available in India. The SteelSeries Stratus will probably take a few months to hit shelves here (if it does at all), but you’ll probably have to source the Moga Ace Power from elsewhere. The Ace Power and PowerShell are priced at US$100, so expect to spend between Rs.7,500 and Rs.10,000 for them on Indian shores.