It seems that MOGA isn’t the only company trying to get a physical controller into the hands of iOS gamers, Logitech also introduced a $100 device of their own, the Powershell.
It features a slightly wider and flatter design than the MOGA ACE POWER, but it too features a battery for charging the iPhone during usage (1500 mAh vs. MOGA’s 1800 mAh battery). One advantage I can see that the Powershell does offer over MOGA’s device is that the rear camera is still accessible while the device is in the Powershell controller. So conceivably you could leave this on your Phone all the time as a battery case and still use your phone as normal. However it does add an additional 3″ in length, 0.17″ in width and about 0.5″ of thickness, so it would be a bit tougher to just shove in a pocket.
One curious design decision is the Powershell’s lack of dual analog sticks, instead opting for more of a Nintendo feel with just a single analog d-pad, shoulder triggers and 4-button cluster. This could be sticking point for some of the more hardcore gamers.
The slim profile and uni-body design make it look pretty sleek and like the MOGA ACE POWER instead of using Bluetooth to connect to your device, it is inserted into the controller and connects over the lighting port. This means you cannot use it with your iPad as well.
So which one should you choose? Well it is far too early to determine, especially without any hands-on time with either unit, or seeing any of the other options coming from other manufacturers. I will all come down to a matter of personal taste and game compatibility.
While Apple’s native integration does offer hardware and software manufacturers a common set of APIs and specs to work from this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of fragmentation in this space. In fact, there are actually two different options for devs to choose from ‘standard’ and ‘extended’ and individual games must be coded to support either or both. The MOGA ACE POWER has adopted the extended setup, while Logitech’s Powershell worth with the ‘standard setup’ and not all games will support both (at least not initially).
Yesterday Gameloft announced that three of their games Dungeon Hunter 4, Gangstar Vegas and Asphalt 8: Airborne all currently support the ‘Standard Controller’, while only Dungeon Hunter 4, Gangstar Vegas also support the ‘Extended Controller’ setup, meaning that until Gameloft adds support, MOGA ACE POWER owners will not be able to play Asphalt 8: Airborne. To their credit, Gameloft has said they are working on an update.
So it seems that this iOS controller battle is just getting started and I’m excited to see what other offerings come down the pipe in the coming months and hoping for mass adoption of both standards by developers.
For more information about the Logitech Powershell or to pre-order your own (no release date given) visit: http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/powershell-controller-and-battery.