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ces 2014

SteelSeries Stratus Mobile Controller Is Small Enough To Swallow

by Ben Reeves on Jan 06, 2014 at 08:17 PM

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We don't often cover mobile controllers, but this one is unique enough to grab our attention, and small enough to slide into your back pocket.

Using MFi-certified Bluetooth, the SteelSeries Stratus connects to your mobile device and let's you play mobile games with a more traditional control scheme. The device isn't extremely comfortable, but that's because of it's extreme form factor; the whole unit is about as wide as the palm of your hand. 

"With Stratus, gamers have easy and direct access to a growing roster of great games on iPad that were intended for an immersive, controller-enabled experience," said SteelSeries CEO Bruce Hawver. "We're incredibly excited to be the first gaming peripherals company to develop a standalone controller for iOS devices and are thrilled to see an abundance of high quality game titles rolling out from publishers everyday."

The Stratus is the first Bluetooth controller that works with iOS devices, and all of it's buttons are analog. I even felt a little bit of rumble while playing GTA on an iPad. SteelSeries says that the battery should last for about 10 hours. The controller will set you back $99, and will be available later this year. Unfortunately, images don't properly convey the system's size, so check out the video below for a better view of the Stratus in action. 


Our Take
This is a bit of a gaming oddity. It won't likely appeal to every consumers but some people will like the idea of having a miniature controller for gaming on the go. My limited hands on time with it proved that the controller works, but I did wonder how my hands would feel after an extended gaming session. The price tag seems a little high, but it's actually comparable to other mobile controllers on the market; still, I think more consumers might take a risk on a product like this if it cost a bit less.