Stratus by SteelSeries Category: Game Controllers Works With: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch Price: $79.99
The joy of most iOS titles is the ability to play using the touchscreen. The gaming world has benefitted greatly from iOS game developers learning how to best control their games without a physical controller.
However, there are a few games — especially versions of old-school console games — that just cry out for an actual button-filled controlling device that you can use while staring intently at the screen.
The Stratus, and other controllers like it, aims to fill that need with a smaller, super-portable and highly accurate controller that takes advantage Apple’s own iOS game controller code that’s built right into iOS 7.
Whether you’ll find this a successful or not depends a lot on your device, the games you want to play, and how your hands fit on the Stratus itself.
Update: A SteelSeries representative sent us the following in an email asking why the price had been reduced so soon after the initial release.
“The response of this product coming out of CES was incredibly positive, [but] the largest concern was with the price set at $99.99 MSRP. Our goal with the Stratus goes beyond just selling a controller; it’s really about helping to define a new platform. We want to see that succeed and took initiative immediately after CES to find ways where we could improve the odds of that success by lower[ing] the price. The outcome is that our team was able to work with our partners to bring the cost for the consumer down to $79.99.”
Original Post: Well, it looks like the price wars have begun in earnest. SteelSeries’ Stratus is now $79.99, instead of the $99.99 it launched for at CES. If you pre-ordered this at the older price, you’re in luck: SteelSeries will honor the new, lower cost for all pre-orders.