With the popularity of mobile devices on the rise, video game companies are looking for new ways to bring console-quality experiences to smartphones and tablets. California-based gaming peripheral maker Nyko recently announced two new Bluetooth-enabled controllers for Android tablets at this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, Calif. Now, rival company PowerA is talking about its own mobile gaming controller called MOGA.
John Moore, a PowerA vice president, says his company is looking to provide a “full consumer experience” through MOGA mainly aimed at core gamers. “Bite-size, casual mobile games are certainly fun, but they can fall short of what serious gamers want,” he says.
“I grew up playing arcade games like Pac-Man and Galaga,” Moore adds. “If you ever try to play those on a mobile phone…it’s just kind of disastrous. Your fingers cover up about a third of the screen when you want to go up, down, left, or right. It just doesn’t work perfectly.”
Pocket-sized and capable of holding almost any Android device (even the Samsung Galaxy Note), Moore says MOGA provides gameplay that’s closer to what you get on a console. It features dual analog sticks, two shoulder buttons, the standard four face buttons, and start and select buttons. Like the Nyko controller, it syncs up with your phone through Bluetooth and is designed with portability in mind. “You can literally have this in your left pocket, and you can have your phone in your right pocket,” Moore explains.
PowerA recently announced support for MOGA from five game publishers: Gameloft, MachineWorks, Namco Bandai, SEGA, and Atari. About 20 games will be available at launch, including Dungeon Hunter 3, Duke Nukem 3D, Virtua Tennis Challenge, and Atari’s Greatest Hits.
Moore says a management system app called Pivot will help keep your gaming library all in one spot. “It’ll identify games that you might have already downloaded on your device and then go out automatically and get the application that you need in order to play with this particular controller,” he says. Pivot will be available for free via Google Play.
While MOGA will initially support only Android 2.3 and later devices, Moore isn’t ruling out other platforms. “iOS, Windows — that sort of thing will be in the foreseeable future,” he says.
The MOGA gaming controller will hit store shelves sometime during the 2012 holiday season. Although PowerA is not revealing the cost just yet, Moore says it will be competitively priced with similar gaming peripherals.