The First Official iPhone Game Controller Costs a Cool $99

Moga Ace Power hits Apple Stores this week.

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Playing games on your iPhone can be an expensive hobby with Moga’s Ace Power controller, which arrives on Wednesday for $99.

Moga’s iOS controller is a departure from the company’s excellent Android controllers, which range from $50 to $80. Instead of the usual retractable arm that holds the phone just above the controller, the Moga Ace Power splits in half and clamps the phone in between the two sections. The controller connects to the phone via Lightning connector rather than Bluetooth.

Moga is the first company to reveal pricing for an official iOS game controller, via an extensive hands-on report at Touch Arcade. The site found that while Moga’s controller has potential, it also has some flaws that make the price tag hard to justify:

The hollow feeling of the MOGA Ace Power, the clicky buttons, how little it weighs, the texture of the plastic and the loose rattle of the sliding mechanism when it’s not fully extended with an iPhone or iPod touch inside all work against the device feeling like a $99 piece of kit.

Touch Arcade also wondered whether game developers even tested controller support before enabling it:

For instance, Dead Trigger 2 [Free] comes with default sensitivity settings that were so high there’s no way any human could play that way. Similarly, LEGO Lord of the Rings [$4.99] has controller support, but you can only move using the D-Pad, not the analog stick. Strange little inconsistencies like that are everywhere, and I’ve yet to find a game that recognizes analog button presses.

It sounds a lot like some of the growing pains I first noticed with Android game controllers last year. On Android, Google doesn’t support controllers in any official capacity, leaving companies like Moga to work directly with game developers. It took a long time for Moga to build up a strong library of games that work well, but now it’s a pretty good experience. On iOS, Apple has more of the responsibility, and it seems like there’s still work to be done.