Moga announced this morning that its first (and subsequently the first to market) iOS 7-compatible game controller is now available for purchase. It’s called the ‘Ace Power’ and it works with the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s and the latest iPod touch.
The controller features an enclosed design, meaning it fits around your iPhone or iPod. It plugs into the Lightning port, and features a d-pad, dual analog sticks, 4 action buttons and triggers, a headphone jack, and can charge your device…
TouchArcade’s Eli Hodapp was able to go hands-on with the new controller. And although he notes that it’s an important step forward for iOS gaming, and there are many things to like about the accessory, he points out several major caveats:
“Even in the best games, rough edges are everywhere when using an iOS 7 controller. Virtual buttons still persist on screen regardless of whether or not you’re using a controller in most of the games I’ve tried. I’ve been the most excited for the potential of Bluetooth iOS 7 controllers, and having one that uses the Lightning port is vaguely disappointing because of the limitations it imposes.
The latency introduced through AirPlay is substantial, and I can’t imagine anyone playing a game on their TV via AirPlay using a controller for anything past the initial “Huh, well that’s neat,” sensation. It’s “playable,” in massive air quotes, but isn’t a great experience by any means.”
Hodapp goes on to say that the Ace Power doesn’t feel like a $99 controller, pointing to “clicky buttons, how little it weighs and the texture of the plastic.” He also noticed a loose rattle in the sliding mechanism when it’s not holding an iOS device.
Then there’s game selection. While developers have steadily been updating their games with iOS 7 controller support, many high-profile titles still don’t have it. And the ones that do each utilize various control schemes, with little consistency.
Of course, all of this will get better with time. The hardware will improve, and game support should improve now that actual hardware is available. In the meantime, if you’re interested, you can pick up the Ace Power from Moga for $99.