The anticipated gaming controllers for iPhone and iPod Touch are arriving in droves it seems. Today, we're getting our first look at the Logitech PowerShell, an insanely simple little gamepad that's supposed to turn touch gaming into something closer to console gaming -- without going overboard.
The timing of today's announcement is conspicuous given that the Moga Ace, another officially sanctioned iOS gamepad, is just about to hit the streets. In fact, we were only allowed to tell you about our experiences with that device 24 hours ago. Apple does as it will do!
The two new gaming machines are different animals though. The Ace is based on an Apple reference design for a modern, two joystick based control setup. By contrast, the button layout on the PowerShell has an SNES setup: D-PAD, ABXY, plus two shoulder buttons. As with the Ace, the PowerShell is compatible with Lightning connector iPhone and iPod Touch models. It has 1500mAh of on-board power that keeps the gaming going longer. We love that.
I only had a few minutes to play with the Logitech PowerShell, but for $US100 it seems like a solid add-on accessory if you love playing games on your phone. The hardware is slim, and curved beautifully for you hands, with a nice rubbery grip texture on the rear. The buttons were better than those on the Moga Ace on first touch though; they're definitely loud and a bit wobbly, especially when playing a rapid fire fighting game.
It's way too early to know if these gaming controllers are going to make iOS gaming better -- let alone whether this particular hardware is worth it. But as soon as we picked the PowerShell up something felt right. This could be the beginning of something beautiful.
Pictures: Nick Stango