It’s clear by this point that iOS devices, along with touch devices from other manufacturers, have redefined mobile gaming. Outselling traditional handheld consoles by tens of millions of units, these multipurpose smartphones and tablets give users the ability to be productive and have fun on the go. However, while an entire new breed of touch-focused games now offers gamers unique experiences, it’s hard to deny that some games just play better with a good old fashioned physical controller.
Manufacturers see this need, and several already offer game controller accessories for the iPhone and iPod touch, such as the MOGA Ace Power and Logitech Powershell. But, thus far, these options require a physical connection to the iPhone, and aren’t compatible with the iPad. That now changes with the Stratus, a bluetooth game controller from gaming hardware firm SteelSeries that works with any iOS 7 device.
Featuring the familiar design of traditional gamepads, the Stratus offers dual analog sticks, a D-pad, four primary buttons, two triggers, two shoulders, and a 10-hour battery life. Even better, SteelSeries claims that up to four of these controllers can connect to a single iOS 7 device, allowing for local multiplayer gaming in a way never before possible with tablets and smartphones.
SteelSeries also promises broad app support, with hundreds of games already compatible and thousands more on the way. The Stratus will charge via Micro-USB in about two hours, but those who can’t wait that long can also use the controller while it’s charging.
All of these features don’t come cheap, however. At $99 per controller, expect only the most dedicated gamers to find value in the product. But, for the target demographic, the promise of trading in finicky touch controls for a traditional controller may make the Stratus the easiest purchases of the year.
There’s no ship date yet, but those interested can find out more and submit a pre-order at the SteelSeries website.