We’ve talked about it before – mobile devices have been gaining in popularity for use as gaming devices over the past few years, despite a lack of depth in the early days. Well, those days are gone, and have been for a while now. With the release of popular games like Supergiant Games’ Bastion, and Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, we now have excellent games to play on smart phones and tablets. The trouble, in my opinion, with playing games that were originally designed for a console or PC is that the controls almost never translate smoothly to touch controls.
Recently this has put gaming on phones and tablets in a strange place. On the one hand the devices themselves continue to become faster and more powerful graphically by leaps and bounds, but on the flip side you have crappy controls. To be fair, there are a lot of really inventive games that use controls that are perfectly suited to a touch screen, gyroscope/accelerometer enabled device. But let’s face it, if you want to make an awesome action/adventure game, or a FPS, the touch controls are bound to be an issue. A couple of companies, including Logitech, have attempted to make bluetooth wireless controllers for mobile devices, but none of them have been that impressive. Some of them, in fact, have been just awful.
Now SteelSeries, makers of gaming keyboards, mice, and headsets is aiming to fix this experience with a new controller announced at CES 2014 called the Stratus for iOS that’s designed to work with iPhone and iPad. Apple recently made bluetooth gaming controllers a possibility with the release of iOS 7, hoping to foster even more great games coming to their platforms. I’m really excited for the Stratus. I’ve been looking for a good controller to use with my iPad Air and haven’t found anything that I was willing to spend the money on. I don’t need a controller to use with my iPad as I own both a 3DS XL and a PS Vita, but there are some new games on the platform that I would love to play with a controller (Oceanhorn springs to mind). The thing that really makes me want the Stratus more than it’s competitors are the The Stratus will go on sale for $99.99 on a date to be determined.