Home Your Tech Entertainment Entertainment Logitech’s new gaming controller for iPhone 5, 5s but not 5c!

Logitech’s new gaming controller for iPhone 5, 5s but not 5c!

In a sign that even Logitech, one of the world’s foremost technology accessory makers, wasn’t expecting the iPhone 5c to be thicker than the 5 or 5s, its sweet-looking Powershell games controller works on the iPhone 5, 5s and the iPod Touch 5th (with an adapter) – but no support for the iPhone 5c.

Although there have been various gaming controllers for iDevices, such as those seen for various Atari games, the big guns such as Logitech have been quiet – until now.

Previous gaming controllers for iDevices relied upon Bluetooth, but this new Logitech PowerShell controller connects via the Lightning Port, not only giving you analog controls, but even boosting your battery life to “roughly double”.

Well, I assume it connects via Lightning Port, for Logitech’s own gaming page makes no mention of it, but that’s the only hardwired data input port on iDevices - unless you count the headphone/mic adapter, too.

The new controller is also iOS 7 specific, and comes with the benefit of being compatible with all iOS 7 games that support the “iOS 7 games controller framework” – the official Apple standard for games controllers, meaning no extra fiddling required, just look in the App Store for controller compatible games.

Logitech says that “a long and rapidly growing list of popular games are supported, including Bastion, Fast & Furious 6: The Game, MetalStorm Aces, Galaxy On Fire 2 HD and Nitro among others available from the App Store.”   

Because this iOS 7 games controller framework is new, Logitech says you end up with a “first-of-its-kind mobile gaming console”, whereupon “you simply insert your compatible iPhone or iPod touch into the controller as you would with a standard case.”

Then you get those standard “analog off-screen controls” which then “deliver a gaming experience that’s familiar to console players everywhere, with a D-pad, shoulder triggers and face buttons that allow you to control game play.”

The benefits are clear, as Logitech explains, letting you “use the entire screen for viewing the game, giving you a more immersive mobile gaming experience. And thanks to the controller’s comfortable shape, you can play for longer periods. The portable controller maintains a profile that fits easily in your pocket or small bag – putting intensive, complex games within your reach wherever you are.”

The exotically named GM of Logitech’s gaming business, Ehtisham Rabbani, said that: “We designed this controller to deliver a true console-gaming experience on an iOS 7 mobile device. With gaming so pervasive on the mobile platform – our research shows that 87% of iPhone and iPod touch users play games on their device – it’s time to revolutionize the experience.”

I guess it’s just a shame that iPhone 5c owners will have to wait a bit longer, until Logitech designs one of its controllers for the iPhone 5c’s thicker frame. The big question is how long it will take for any iPhone 5c comaptible controller to appear, especially considering all those reports of Apple lowering iPhone 5c production. I'm sure it's a tough decision for Logitech to make.

That unfortunate news for iPhone 5c owners aside, Logitech’s controller has been designed with the user and convenience in mind, with users being able to “maintain full access to power on/off, volume, camera, speakers, headphone jack and charging.”

And, thanks to the controller’s 1500mAh battery, you get “roughly double” the battery life of your iDevice alone, while also being able to charge both controller and iPhone at the same time (when docked together, naturally) through a microUSB connector.

All up, it looks pretty sweet, and I'm sure there are plenty of iOS 7 gamers keen to try Logitech's PowerShell Controller, too. All that's left now is for the unit to go on sale, and for the reviews of the controller - and Controller controlled games - to start flowing, so people can see what others think and decide whether they'll get one for themselves, or not. 

So when's that on sale date, and what's the cost?

Well, it's due for sale from mid-December onwards from Apple’s online and retail stores, with the retail price being AUD $129.95. 

Some might say you can get a Nintendo 2DS for not much more, but as Nintendos don't run iOS software, the point is moot.

It will also be interesting to see how many other gaming controllers from other top vendors like Belkin - and all those cheap Chinese manufacturers - quickly appear to offer a price challenge, but it seems if you want to have ultimate control over your iOS 7 games this side of Christmas, Logitech's controller will be the one you want in your control!

For more detail, please visit Logitech’s gaming website.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.