With the release of iOS 7, Apple finally acknowledged the demand for physical gamepads by means of built-in support with its Produced iPhone/iPad/iPod (MFi) program, meanings all game designers and peripheral producers alike can make use of the exact same compatibility requirements. Gone are the days when each individual iOS controller or joystick needed its own special programs, makinged numerous designers avoid physical controls and diminished the value of such peripherals. Now, any game that supports iOS 7 controllers ought to work with any MFi gamepad– in theory, a minimum of. That has not exactly worked out thus far, with a minimum of one game only compatible with a certain early controller, and a few titles that work better on some gamepads than others.
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It took a couple of months, however the first supported controllers started launching before the end of the year, and 3 have dripped out to date: MOGA’s Ace Power for iPhone/iPod touch, the Logitech PowerShell for iPhone/iPod touch, and the SteelSeries Stratus for any iOS gadget. Each is distinctly developed and provides its own particular range of input options and other functions, though all 3 arrive at overwhelming rate points. Is it worth being a very early adopter, or should you wait for the next round of options?
We have got full reviews of all three between our present and approaching print and digital concerns, but if you are thinking about investing in an iOS 7 game controller now, here’s a concise take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each, complete with our evaluation scores from the complete appraisals.
MOGA Ace Power ($99.95)
MOGA made a name for itself in the Android market with appealing phone controllers, however the Ace Power marks its first venture into the iOS peripheral world. When closed, the Ace Power looks much like a compact console gamepad– full with a pair of analog sticks– albeit with an opening in the center. Draw on both ends, however, and it stretches out wide enough to snugly hold an iPhone or iPod touch, which connects through the Lightning port. That also allows the controller to charge your iOS gadget by means of its built-in 1800mAh battery pack.
Despite its range of input options and the portability-friendly contracting design, MOGA’s debut iOS controller suffers from a very cheap-feeling build– and among the initially little number of games suitable with the Ace Power, some are not well enhanced for the gadget. Nevertheless, the greatest issue we ran into had the unresponsive front buttons, which required an extremely firm press to register. We might lightly tap a button numerous times over and see no in-game outcome, meanings missed inputs are sadly common. For $100, we anticipate a whole lot more.
Logitech PowerShell ($69.95)
When the PowerShell introduced, it sold for the exact same $100 price point as the Power Ace– but even its remarkable cost drop doesn’t make this frustrating option any more attractive. Logitech’s PowerShell is comparable in approach to MOGA’s controller, with a design developed to encase your iPhone or iPod touch and a 1500mAh battery constructed in to charge the iOS device during use. It’s sturdier than the Power Ace and feels a bit more exceptional in develop, however it’s functionally a much easier option, with only a d-pad, 4 face buttons, and two shoulder buttons. Luckily, the buttons are very responsive and work perfectly.
The exact same can’t be stated for the d-pad, makings the PowerShell successfully useless for lots of sorts of games. Its unresponsive design indicates that subtle, nuanced inputs are not possible, which makes racing games, 3D action games, and various other kinds of games less usable (and much less satisfying) compared to using touch and/or tilt controls. Some games– mostly 2D side-scrolling ones– don’t suffer as much, however that’s barely worth paying $70 for, or really any large amount.
SteelSeries Stratus ($79.99)
The third time’s a beauty– relatively speaking– when it pertains to iOS 7 gamepads, as the most current release is the best of the bunch. SteelSeries has a long history of quality peripherals for various platforms, and the Stratus is the first iOS controller that in fact makes a physical gamepad appear beneficial on the platform. Unlike the various other 2 alternatives, it’s a cordless Bluetooth pad, hence making it most perfect for iPad use (though it will deal with all iOS 7 gadgets). With dual analog sticks, a directional pad, 4 face buttons, and 4 shoulder buttons up top, it provides the complete range of input choices that a lot of advanced games need.
It’s not a best choice, nonetheless. While much better constructed than the MOGA, it still has a non-durable, economical plastic feel to it, which doesn’t match well with the price point. And with dimensions not far eliminated from an older iPhone (albeit a little bit thicker), it’s incredibly small– and to a fault. The cramped design puts the L2/R2 buttons inset near the center, making them more challenging to reach and thus influencing the likes of racing and shooting games. And regardless of the rate dropping $20 for the launch, it’s still too expensive, sturdier and better-designed controllers for other platforms cost much less than this, but we do not have those sort of choices already.
The bottom line
Among the 3 very early iOS gamepads, the just one we can truly advise is the SteelSeries Stratus– mainly since it’s the just one that totally works as a game controller. Given, that’s a rather certified recommendation, as the high rate and confined design are noteworthy downsides. But does it ensure games play much better, especially on the iPad? Absolutely. So if you require an iOS 7 controller right now, the Stratus is the one to obtain. While the battery functionality on the MOGA and Logitech peripherals is a good touch, both suffer as game controllers, and neither is worth seeking out at or near complete cost.
It’s very early days still for iOS 7 controllers, and these are simply the particular first stabs by a trio of makers. For the average consumer, we ‘d recommend a wait-and-see technique. We’ll no doubt see extra– and hopefully much better– alternatives in the months to come, and with luck, we will also see a more tasty range of price indicate attract all levels of iOS gamers. And when that occurs, there will also be many more compatible games, making a gamepad purchase even more rewarding. However if you are set on getting an iOS 7 controller now, follow our advice and pick carefully.