After years of gamers crying out for an officially supported Apple controller solution for iOS, I really don't think anybody expected that solution to be the Duo Gamer Controller from Gameloft and Duo Games. We reviewed the product in early October, and found the seamlessness with which it's able to connect and work with games to be fantastic, especially in the face of the hack-ish solution of sending keyboard commands over Bluetooth to simulate controller movements which is what the iCade and several other unofficial controllers do currently. The Duo Gamer was an actual, real, Apple-approved Bluetooth controller for iOS, and it worked really well.

I mean, functionally it worked well. It still had some huge drawbacks though. One was the shape of the thing. The Duo Controller has one of the oddest, boxiest shapes I've ever seen for a controller. It's sort of like a big brick with analog sticks, and without any sort of ergonomic shape it became pretty awkward to hold for long game sessions. The second big problem was that it only worked with a handful of Gameloft games, specifically Asphalt 7, Modern Combat 3, Order & Chaos Online, Brothers in Arms 2, and N.O.V.A. 3. If you were hoping to use the controller for any other games, well currently you're out of luck. Finally, the Duo Gamer rang in at a hefty $80, which is pretty steep for a controller with very limited support.

Well, today Gameloft announced that they're trying to tackle 2 out of 3 of those drawbacks by announcing a huge price cut for the Duo Gamer Controller as well as support for additional Gameloft titles in the near future. As of today the controller has been marked down by 50%, making it $39.99. Yeah, that's still kind of a lot for a controller for your mobile devices, but it's better than $80. Also Gameloft has revealed that Wild Blood and NFL Pro 2013 will be the next games to get support for the controller in the very near future, with more titles planned for 2013.

I don't want to sound totally negative about the Duo Gamer, as when you're using it with a game like Modern Combat 3 it really is a great experience, and if you've got your device plugged into a big screen TV it really approaches something like a traditional game console. However, the controller itself is still kind of clunky, it's still a bit expensive even at half-off, and it's still got a limited library of supported titles. But it's getting better, so if you were even somewhat interested in the Duo Gamer Controller before then now would be a great time to jump on it during this huge sale. You can order one through the Amazon link below or find them in retail Apple Stores and Best Buys nationwide.

Amazon Link: Duo Gamer for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, $39.99

  • Steve Lang

    Couldn't Apple just create an API for Bluetooth peripheral controller input, and then all games could easily support it (basically anything with a onscreen directional pad), and many different controllers could be interchangeably used?

    Then there would be a bounty of cheap BT controllers on EBay, as well as the better premium-level units too.

    • Cheeseball

      They probably don't want to have to handle them support-wise, unless they have authorized Apple certification. I assume that getting that certification will be costly for manufacturers.

      • Steve Lang

        I don't think you can lock out non-'certified' BT peripherals. You can use any BT keyboard on iOS devices, a game controller would be the same thing.

        Heck, if everyone had decided awhile back to agree on using cursor keys and 'Z X C' for action buttons (or some similar scheme), you could make BT controllers based on that.

  • Charles Albert

    If this is for gameloft's games only, it'll probably be the most disgusting dickmove in the iOS's gaming ecossystem EVER.

    • gravedigger

      Agreed, dunno why they don't just open up their system. iOS would be the perfect gaming platform then.

  • FookedonHonix

    Weird video for this. People aren't usually smiling and laughing while playing a FPS. They are angry and yelling BS! at the screen.

  • JJE

    There is an old Vulcan saying: "Only Nixon can go to China".
    Gameloft has worked long and hard to carve out a commanding presence with games that go beyond so-called arcade style. Say what you will about their business decisions; the past year has seen them redouble their efforts in terms of having the best looking games around. Perhaps, with a few more big titles supporting this controller, Apple will see that the IO API needs to be more exposed and expanded. If I lust after anything on the MS Surface it's the keyboard cover. Just let me change the default universal keyboard in iOS and I might just faint dead away.
    I'm loathe to say pick one of these controllers up. Undoubtedly it's cheap, plastic and uncomfortable; joystick resolution is probably just this side of barely usable. But what choice do we have? It's up to gamers to let their needs be known. Serious long-form gaming is coming to tablets and phones sooner rather than later and as much as I like how swiping has replaced the mouse, we need more IO.

  • Gamer_Kev

    If they do get this controller on more games, I could see this being appealing for some. For me though,the reason I prefer the iCade is for it's ability to recreate the nostalgic arcade experience. Though there are exceptions to the rule (I'm looking at you JSR) most 3D games play fine with touch controls IMHO. I've never had any real problem with the touch controls in Lili, Aralon, Batman Returns and Backstab to name a few. If I did want to get a dual analogue controller, I'd go with the 60beat, officially supported or not. At least it doesn't look like it would make my hands hurt. But I think I'll leave the dual stick analogue gaming to my PS3 for now.

  • drelbs

    I don't see why DUO seems to be making these company-exclusive controllers - their pinball controller is only supported by the GameProm pinball games...

    With this mentality, I don't think I'd be willing to support products at any price.

    • Jared Nelson

      I agree. They also make that iCade-like thing that only works with the Atari compilation. I really can't imagine people buying these pretty expensive peripherals that only work with a handful of games.

      • Gamer_Kev

        Hopefully your being sarcastic. I have over 260 individual games (several collections as well as a fair number of stand alone) on my iPad that work with the iCade. It's quite possibly the most supported controller on the app store.

      • Jared Nelson

        No not the actual iCade, this Atari Arcade thing

        Seemed like it might have been a cool alternative to the iCade but only works with the Atari compilation 🙁

  • Corey Evans

    Just ordered via Apple, but wait, will Modern Combat FOUR support it? Surely??

    • tjgeneva

      Nothing official, so I'd cancel your order and wait.

  • zergslayer69

    Aw no more picture of a guy having a blast looking at a loading screen anymore.

  • brutalpanther

    I cant wait to try this gamepad out now that its affordable.There was no way i would pay $80 for a gamepad without dual triggers on each side.And its design doesnt really look comfortable to hold.We'll see.I hope that MC4 is compatible.

  • Christian Nork

    it's gameloft. Waiting for the 89c deal

  • bunnyfoofoo27

    Sorry guys. DUO GAMER does not work with Modern Combat 4. It is official and an absolute outrage. I shelled out $114 to have it imported to NZ last month and now this news bites my ass of a price drop. I got in anticipation of modern combat 4. Thanks for screwing me gameloft