Game controllers for Android are a dime a dozen these days, and most of the newest ones do very little to inherently change anything. They're basically all the same Xbox or PlayStation-like designs that may or may not allow a phone to clip to them. The Phonejoy wants to change that with its controller, an interestingly designed unit that actually opens up and holds the device to replicate a PS Vita-type gadget.
Update: It looks like we might not be able to plug our phones into our controllers just yet. The Amazon link has already changed to say that the MOGA Hero Power is temporarily out of stock. Keep an eye out, as it will probably reappear before or around the launch of the MOGA Pro Power.
Android games are consistently getting better, but there's a drawback. As new titles task players with taking control of more detailed character models, paint surfaces with higher resolution textures, and follow up attacks with an increasing number of particles, phones with passable battery life soon find that they can hardly make it through morning.
It's been just over a month since our review of the iMpulse Bluetooth Controller was posted. It was not flattering, mostly due to what I considered a fatal oversight in its software: the inability to function as a gamepad recognizable by the default profile in Android 4.0 and later. Black Powder Media, the creators of the Kickstarter hardware, have apparently seen fit to remedy that oversight with the latest firmware.
The beta firmware adds a new profile for the controller which should work with any game that supports external controllers natively; the Kickstarter page states that the developers have tested the firmware with Grand Theft Auto 3, Granny Smith, and Mongo Madness without incident.
The folks behind the MOGA wireless gamepads for Android announced today that the next-generation MOGA Power Series controllers will be unveiled at E3 later this month. In addition to an updated physical design, MOGA is talking up its new MOGA Boost system. Boost will recharge your phone while you game.
The Power Series will come in two different styles – a compact version for hauling around, and a larger (less portable) one.
When we reviewed the MOGA Pocket (then simply called "MOGA") back in October of last year, we loved the controller, but felt it lacked a lot of functionality users want out of a game controller (emulator support, anyone?). Enter the MOGA Pro ($50): a larger, more full-featured version of the MOGA Pocket. With this controller, it appears that PowerA has taken into consideration everything it did "wrong" with the Pocket, and used that to improve things with the Pro.
The PowerA Moga Pro is a step up from the already adequate Moga controller. A little bit bigger, with a better grip and an included tablet stand make this iteration a worthy successor. Assuming you can make do with the limited selection of supported titles (or don't mind working with some key mappers to make it work yourself), that is.
Now, a Slickdeals user (didn't I tell you?) points out that with coupon code "MOGAzombie" (no quotes), you can get 25% off your order directly from PowerA, which brings the price of the controller down to $37.49.
Anyone who reads this blog often knows my disdain for touch-controls on mobile games. There are a few titles out there that are intuitive enough, like NBA Jam, Dark Meadow, and Horn, but past that, most games are just awkward to play. Thus, if a game supports it, I usually use some sort of controller, be it Bluetooth or USB. While that's practical enough at home, large controllers are too cumbersome for gaming on-the-go.
With the arrival of Honeycomb 3.1 came some really nice features, including one of the most useful to date: USB host support. This allows users to plug thumb drives, external hard drives, mice, keyboards, and more into their tablets and use them with little-to-no hassle.
Out of the many uses for USB host support, adding a game controller to your tablet is a simple way to have more fun with your device -- it improves the experience with a lot of games, especially if, like me, you hate touchscreen controls.