On Thursday PowerA finally shipped the MOGA Pro, a full-sized precision controller for Android devices. It follows the MOGA Pocket Controller which launched back in October 2012, also designed for Android gaming, and only works with games that specifically support both MOGA devices. The new Pro Controller, as well as the Pocket version, retails for $49.99.
"The full-size MOGA Pro builds on the tremendous success since the launch of MOGA Pocket Controller last October," said Eric Bensussen, President of PowerA. "When gamers put the MOGA Pro Controller in their hands, there's an instant familiarity. As the recognized leader with impressive developer support and a growing list of top games, we're giving mobile gamers a console-style experience, with an Android device that they already own."
We took the MOGA Pro controller for a spin back at CES 2013 in January. While the Pocket Controller was slim and light, built for tucking into your back pocket for on-the-go Android gaming, the Pro model handled like an Xbox 360 controller, only with an added retractable arm for parking an Android smartphone. It provided two console-style grips, two clickable analog thumbsticks, a D-pad, your standard four-button setup, two shoulder buttons and two triggers.
As noted in the hands-on back in January, there was a certain amount of lag when testing the Bluetooth-based MOGA Pro with NOVA 3 and a smartphone connected to an HDTV via a MHL port (which supports video, audio and power). PowerA said it was interference stemming from all the gadgets at the show, but after purchasing the Pocket version and testing it with the Nexus 10 tablet at home, there's still noticeable lag with NOVA 3. The problem could be related to the game itself, using Bluetooth, or a combination of things related to tablet and smartphone hardware. However, so far it works great with less FPS-intense games like The Bard's Tale.
As for supported Android games, MOGA Pro and Pocket owners aren't required to hunt through Google Play's huge library of games. Like Nvidia and its Tegra Zone app, controller owners can easily find and purchase supporting apps via the MOGA Pivot app which also calibrates the controller with the connecting smartphone or tablet. Games that support MOGA controllers include Another World, Battle Bears, GTA: Vice City, Modern Combat 4, Shadowgun: DeadZone, The Conduit HD, Wild Blood, and over 70 others in a growing list of games.
The MOGA Pro Controller, available now at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and MOGAanywhere.com, comes with rechargeable batteries, a USB charging cord, a tablet stand, and for a limited time, a free download of NOVA 3. The Android controller will be made available at Target.com, and at Best Buy, Fred Meyer, GameStop and Walmart stores in May for the same $49.99 price.
UPDATE: The MOGA Pocket Controller is now on sale for $39.99 USD, and includes Sonic CD and Pac-Man for Android.