Now I admit, I was pretty skeptical when I heard about a controller that would attach to a mobile phone to enhance the mobile gaming experience. I assumed it would have a few major issues:
- Too big to be portable
- Mobile games weren’t created for controllers, so it would really just be an affectation
- No way to hold the phone and the controller comfortably
Though I approached the MOGA with these doubts, I left pretty impressed. PowerA knows what they’re doing and are taking all the right steps to handle these concerns.
First, the controller is super-slim and small. It plugs into the phone in a perfectly reasonable configuration that feels comfy to my little lady hands. It is definitely portable and claims to have nineteen hours of gaming per battery charge.
The MOGA features dual analog sticks, two shoulder buttons, the standard four face buttons, and start and select buttons. Like the superficially similar Nyko controller, it syncs up with your phone through Bluetooth.
The configuration handles my first and third doubts, but what about my second doubt about the way mobile games are created? Well, it turns out that PowerA is actually working with game companies such as Sega and Namco to optimize the controller for the games and vice-versa. About twenty games will be available at launch, including Dungeon Hunter 3, Duke Nukem 3D, Virtua Tennis Challenge, and Atari’s Greatest Hits.
I gave Pac-Man a spin, and the controls felt perfectly natural. I do worry that a guy might find the controller a little small. But I also assume they tested this with the male consumer in mind, so maybe I just overestimate the tinyness. I would have really liked to try it with a more complicated game to see what the benefits are of using this as opposed to the normal phone controls.
Another feature is that, when the MOGA is installed, your phone will lead you directly to the MOGA App. This app conveniently shows which games are MOGA compatible, which games you might like to try based on the ones you already play, and other useful options. As someone who is not super-technical when it comes to phones, I really appreciated how simple everything seemed.
If you like gaming on your Android device, I would definitely recommend checking this controller out in October.
While at PowerA’s booth, I also had the opportunity to try out the Fus1on controller. I can see this being a big hit with people who like the Xbox 360 controller’s analog stick layout, but want to play games on their Playstation 3. It is also smaller than a standard Xbox controller, meaning that my little lady hands had no trouble taking down PowerA’s representative, John, in our epic battle.
The Fus1on was made to the specifications of tournament gamers, so I imagine it will be pretty legit for serious gamers. I would need more time with the controller to give my full support, because to me, comfort and accessibility aren’t always immediately detectable when I’m gaming. Now, let me play some MvC3 with this bad boy for an hour without my hands hurting, and we will call this a winner.