OS 7 is the first version of iOS that had embedded controller support, and since its release a number of vendors have announced controllers for Apple’s mobile devices, such as the Moga Ace Power and Logitech PowerShell. However, unlike those controllers that enclose your iPhone, the SteelSeries Stratus is a separate wireless controller with familiar layout that looks like a miniature mash-up of a PS3 and Xbox controller.
In the video, Travis from SteelSeries a quick overview of the Stratus, and shows it in action, controlling GTA: San Andreas on an iPad Mini. Since the Stratus is a separate device, and not something that integrates with your phone, we think it’s definitely more suited for using with larger devices like the iPad, rather than your phone. Imaging being squeezed into coach on a long flight, and being able to prop up your iPad on the tray table to get a couple of good hours of GTA in before you land. That would take the edge off. Another cool feature, which we were sadly not able to test out in person, is that you can hook up to four controllers to one device for some multiplayer action. Of course, there’ll need to be more games released for iOS that support split-screen first to make this work.
Another challenge is getting developers on board to support the Stratus but according to SteelSeries this isn’t something we have to worry about – they already list a number of popular games like GTA, Call of Duty Strike Team, Limbo and Riptide GP2 as having Stratus support, and we are sure there will be more to come.
Unfortunately, there are no official plans to bring the Stratus to Android since it’s specifically designed to work with iOS 7’s controller support, but Travis told us to stay tuned. SteelSeries is a strong supporter of Android gaming, having already released the similar Android compatible Free Mobile Gaming Controller, so perhaps there will be an updated Stratus with Android support in the future.
The Stratus can be pre-ordered from SteelSeries now for $99 (opens in new tab), but there is no word on the actually release date as of yet.