Only for iPad mini though
MFi (made-for-iOS) controllers have been around for almost two years now, and slowly but surely, they’ve risen above their once niche appeal. Previously they were only available for a few devices, and could run upwards of $100, which was an absolutely absurd prospect for the general market. Now, you can find them for 10 to 20 bucks.
Having said all that, premium products still exist, like the Gamevice for the iPad Mini, which is $100 at present. It’s good then that the Gamevice itself is a pretty stellar controller.
The thing I was most impressed about with the Gamevice was the look and feel. Surprisingly, even though it looks like an old-timey exercise device, it’s incredibly sturdy and comfortable to hold. The iPad snaps in and out pretty easily, and I didn’t feel like any damage was being done to my device in the slightest. All you have to do is stretch out the handles a bit, slide it in, and push.
Everything is covered on both sides of the Gamevice, from the iPad’s power, to a pause button, to four face buttons, two analog sticks, and a d-pad. Charging is done by way of the bottom of the unit, which powers both the Gamevice and the iPad at the same time with the included cord. It’s like holding an oversized Vita, and the analog sticks work just as good as most standard controllers on the console market. The only holdup I had sometimes was the d-pad, which isn’t as loose as I hoped it would be, but I didn’t have too many problems, even with games like Sonic 2.
All in all, I was really surprised with how far MFi support has come, and how easily the Gamevice accommodated it. For titles like Dead Trigger 2, there are options for automatic firing and aiming assist that cater towards touchscreen users, but you can turn most of that assistance off if you have a controller. Again, using two analog sticks for an FPS felt just like playing the Vita, and racing games like Asphalt 8 were just as smooth. Hopefully devices like this will alleviate the stigma attached to mobile gaming, because there are a lot of great exclusives on iOS right now that deserve attention. Even ports like BioShock work well with the device.
The best part though is that there’s an ancillary app and website available, which is the most comprehensive MFi resource to date. You don’t need to own a Gamevice to peruse the selection of course, but I’m glad that someone went out of their way to make it easier for iOS users to find supported games. While MFi shopping can be a nightmare, I would easily buy the Gamevice once it went down in price.
[Hardware was provided for testing by the manufacturer.]