Since Apple announced and subsequently rolled out official support for third-party controllers, the vendors of said peripherals have been very much on their game. I mean, sure, the iOS device using community mightn’t have taken to this new product group as keenly as Apple may have anticipated, but nevertheless, the constant flow of MFi controllers spawns at least one new model per week. Today, SteelSeries has taken the wraps off its new Stratus XL MFi controller, which, as you’ll see in a moment, looks very much like the game pad of Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
Not that this should be seen as a weak point, though. Microsoft spent a helluva lot of money in developing the Xbox 360 controller to make it as comfortable, robust and ergonomically sound as possible, and although the company apparently parted with a nine-figure sum in working on its eventual successor for the Xbox One, the Stratus XL still looks mightily impressive.
Apple has long since sold the idea to consumers that a set of touch-based controllers are enough for gamers, but in reality, this simply isn’t the case. As titles, particularly those of the first-person shooting variety, have become more intense and requiring of precision accuracy in combat, so has the demand for proper controllers. But while the collective protests of hardcore gamers has clearly been heeded by Apple as well as companies like Logitech, Razer and SteelSeries, the market for these accessories hasn’t quite taken off in the emphatic manner that many, including Apple, would have projected.
Unlike last week’s unveiling of the Razer Junglecat, which seemed decidedly bereft of buttons, the Stratus XL is about as feature-rich as the Xbox 360 effort to which it will draw many comparisons. You’ve got your two "trigger" buttons on either side (L1, L2 and R1, R2), as well as two analog sticks, A, B, X, Y, and a standard directional pad. Given how similar its form factor is to the Xbox 360 controller, it seems more than likely that it will be comfortable to hold, and with a 40-hour battery life off two AA batteries, you’ll be perfectly equipped for a gaming binge.
Unfortunately, we don’t have price or release details as yet, but as and when they manifest, we’ll have it covered here at Redmond Pie.
In the meantime, what do you make of the Stratus XL?
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