Logitech has a released a new game controller for the iPhone called the PowerShell controller + battery. It supports the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and the fifth generation iPod Touch.
It’s one of the first game controllers made for iOS 7 and it costs $US99.
I tested over the past few days and here’s what I liked and what I didn’t like.
The set up process is very easy.
It doesn’t require much effort to set up the PowerShell. All you have to do is slide the iPhone or iPod into the center of the controller. Although the device will be encased in the shell, you’ll still be able to answer calls and have full access to your phone.
Some of the games make you feel like there is a Playstation in your pocket.
Once its locked securely in the dock, download games from the app store. Logitech touts console-style controls for the PowerShell and certain games certainly feel like your playing a miniature PlayStation. While gobbling up dots in multiple levels of Pacman, I felt like I had a classic 80’s arcade game in the palm of my hands. The directional pad was responsive when helping Pacman find his way through the maze and the letter controls worked well for adjusting playing options such as turning up the sound. Here’s a full list of what you can play.
Players will have long hours of gameplay.
At the top of the PowerShell, there is a small silver switch that activates the controller’s powerful battery. If your iPhone or iPod battery gets low, turn on the PowerShell’s battery. My iPhone 5S was fully charged in under an hour while I completed several levels of Fast & Furious 6.
Now, here’s what needs work.
The controls need some more improvements. While the directional pad worked well for some games, it was AWFUL for others. As I mentioned above, it responded well with PacMan but was extremely hard to use on some of the strategy games like Bastion. I had to push down multiple times in order to scroll through menus and keep my character moving in a straight line. If Logitech had wanted to make the definitive controller for iOS 7, they could have put some more effort into refining their controls.
Also, I don’t recommend using an iPod in the PowerShell. In order to use headphones, you’ll have to hook your headphones into a flimsy power adaptor. It took me several tries to sync my headphones into the dongle and the sound quality wasn’t great. You’re better off muting the volume on your iPod.
I thought the controller was good, not great. The gadget fits great in your pocket and was fun to use while I was on my train to work. But ultimately, I think there should have been more features to justify the $US99 price.