After the first two "Made for iPhone" controllers turned out to be a major disappointment, we're likely to see a number of companies attempt to perfect the iOS controller. SteelSeries, renowned for its range of PC gaming peripherals, is one such company, and today it's announcing the Stratus, its first wireless pad to be compatible with iOS 7's game controller API, and the first Made for iPhone controller to support the iPad.
Unlike Moga's Ace Power and Logitech's Powershell, the Stratus doesn't attempt to cradle or charge your iPhone while you play; it's a fairly standard-looking controller that looks a lot like the mockup Apple showed manufacturers last year. It features a pair of analog sticks, a D-pad, four face buttons, two pairs of triggers, and a battery that's good for 10 hours of gameplay. It communicates with your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch via Bluetooth, and SteelSeries says up to four of the controllers can connect to a single device. When multiple controllers are connected, one of four LEDs on the front of the gamepad will light up to let gamers know which player they are controlling.
Just as expensive as its rivals
Given that, unlike the first batch of iOS pads, the controller lacks a Lightning port or the ability to charge your device, you'd be forgiven for expecting the Stratus to cost a lot less than rival solutions. Unfortunately, that's not the case: SteelSeries says the controller will cost $99.99 — exactly the same as the Powershell and Ace Power — when it ships. Although the company is no stranger to mobile gamepads, it remains to be seen if the quality of the pad can justify the extremely steep price tag. Preorders are open now at SteelSeries' site, but there's no word on a release date yet.