When Apple announced that its iOS 7 update would include a gamepad API, it was heralded as the final step towards iPhones and iPads becoming hardcore gaming devices. The slew of shoddy controllers that have so far followed poured water on that dream, but Mad Catz is hoping that its C.T.R.L i gamepad will change all that.
Based on the well-received MIG Pro Circuit gamepad that the company offers console gamers, the C.T.R.L. i is, for all intents and purposes, an Xbox 360 pad for your Apple device. Pairing over Bluetooth and powered by two AAA batteries (good for 50 hours of usage), it's got two triggers, two shoulder buttons, two analogue sticks, X Y A and B buttons -- the works. You iPhone or iPad touch simply sits in an adjustable cradle that screws into the back of the pad -- which obviously won't fit an iPad. It'll make controlling full-on 3D adventures like GTA San Andreas and Tomb Raider (currently marred by a horrific amount of onscreen touch buttons) a breeze.
Or at least that's the hope -- the pad I briefly tried was apparently the very first into the Mad Catz team's hands, straight from China, and was having some syncing teething issues. Using classic Bluetooth (as per Apple's strict demands) it won't have quite as tight a grip on latency as the Mad Catz M.O.J.O console's bundled controller -- though you'd have to be from Krypton to notice an millisecond difference between the two. Headed to stores around April, expect to pay roughly $80, or £48.