Mobile games to play more like consoles with a wireless iOS gamepad

There are those out there who think that mobile devices like the iPhone and Android smartphones are poised to take over from mobile gaming systems like the Sony PS Vita and Nintendo’s dual-screen portables, and if the SteelSeries Stratus is any indication, those people may well be right.

Designed with gamers in mine, the Stratus is the first wireless mobile game controller for SteelSeries, and indeed possibly the first for Apple’s iOS 7.

“The Stratus Wireless Controller, the first wireless gamepad controller ever to be supported in iOS 7, forever alters the mobile gaming landscape,” said Bruce Hawver, CEO of SteelSeries.

“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. 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 gaming accessory joins Logitech’s PowerShell Controller as one of the few dedicated iOS-based gaming devices out there, but looks to cater to a different sort of gamer.

While the Logitech solution encases the Apple iDevice and offers a directional pad and four main buttons (plus bumpers), the SteelSeries Stratus connects wirelessly and throws in more bumpers and two analog sticks, providing a different set of controls for different games.

In fact, it’s the first Bluetooth controller made to be compatible with iOS 7, providing as much as 10 hours of battery life with multiple control systems, with an Apple iDevice running the seventh iteration of its mobile operating system able to connect as many as four controllers to a single device.

We’re not sure how many games will take advantage of four controllers in one game, though with Apple TV playback being gradually implemented in mobile gaming titles, it’s likely that the iPhone you carry with you could end up being a TV-capable console without you even realising it.

Games designed to support this controller (and other eventual iOS 7 controllers) will appear on the Apple App Store over the next few months, while the SteelSeries Stratus should be found in stores and online at the SteelSeries website for $129 shortly, too.