StratusHeroAs mentioned in our review, and on our Twitch stream when asked about it, the SteelSeries Stratus is currently the king of the iOS 7 controller world. However, its initial proposed launch price made it a hard pill to swallow, especially when compared to the price of other controllers in the world:

There's decades of precedence when it comes to controller pricing, and with both the PlayStation 4 Dualshock 4 controller and the Xbox One wireless controller coming in at $59.99, $99.99 for an iOS 7 controller seems laughable in comparison. The value proposition is only made worse when you consider that both the PS4 and Xbox One controllers feel built like a tank, while even the SteelSeries Stratus, which is unquestionably the best iOS 7 controller that has come across my desk so far, feels so cheap in comparison. …Read More

A just-announced $79.99 price point helps considerably if for no reason beyond showing that there is in fact wiggle room in the pricing of these devices and they're not going to be locked at $99.99 for eternity. Additionally, SteelSeries will be honoring the new price for all existing preorders.

It still seems like the "best" solution (in massive air quotes there) is to use the jailbreak tweak Controllers for All and just use a PS3 controller with your iOS device. That's a pretty mediocre solution though, particularly as it requires modifying your device's operating system versus MFi controllers just working out of the box. If like me, you're not into the whole jailbreaking thing, the SteelSeries Stratus is where it's at, and now it's cheaper.

And that seems like a good thing.

  • Mhunt190

    STILL NOT BUYING!!! A whole $20 off!! Still way to expensive. Saving my money I'll wait tell they are around $45 then I'll buy.

    • ZarieoZ

      While I do appreciate that they listened to the customers. I'm with you in this, specially when I'm paying customs+fees+shipping to get it shipped to my country.

  • bilboad

    Eli, you say jailbreaking and using a ps3 controller is "a pretty mediocre solution though, particularly as it requires modifying your device's operating system versus MFi controllers just working out of the box." Is the need to jailbreak the *only* problem you have with that solution, or are there other reasons you think it's mediocre?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      I would never advise someone to jailbreak unless they know exactly what they're doing as well as fully understanding the consequences of modifying their OS. Comparatively, using a MFi controller requires nothing more than flipping the "ON" switch.

      • saansilt

        Thats a good reason.
        JB done wrong can kill a phone easy.

      • bilboad

        I can respect that. I've jailbroken for years and never had a problem other than having to wait to upgrade to the latest iOS until the jailbreak caught up, but I agree having to jailbreak is a drawback. It's just the way you worded your sentence, where you said "particularly as it requires modifying your OS...", which seemed to imply that was the main reason, but you also had other reasons.

      • xx99

        I totally agree that people who won't do the research to make sure they're jailbreaking correctly shouldn't get near it. That said, jailbreaking is a better solution because you can use it to enable Bluetooth controllers (PS3, Wii, keyboards, etc.) to play any game with virtual controls. Controllers built for iOS 7 require games that support them.

    • err404

      It also adds a layer if complexity that pushes it to mediocre. Having to swap between iOS and BTStacks for Bluetooth is not only annoying, but breaks connectivity to my Pebble, BT speaker, fit bit and Automatic. Basically it adds 30 secs to the start and end of my gaming session if I care about my other devices. I'm running it for now, but will switch to a native controller once a good one is available.

      • bilboad

        Agreed, that sounds annoying. Personally the only mobile gaming I do is on my iPad, and I'd only want to use a controller in certain situations where I could park the iPad on a table or something, so I'd want a full size standalone controller. If the Signal controller drops in price enough I'd rather use that and not deal with jailbreaking, but I think $50 is about the most I'd pay. There are enough games on the iPad that work fine without a controller that it's not worth $100 to me. Right now, if there were a game I really wanted to play on my iPad that would benefit a lot from a controller, I'd use the PS3 controller hack rather than buy any of the currently available MFi controllers.

  • H4nd0fg0d

    Just gonna stick with my trusty old ps3 controller. And if I wasn't a jailbreaker, the ps3 controller tweak wld certainly b reason enough to do so.

    • bilboad

      Agreed. I used to jailbreak for years, but haven't since iOS 7. I would definitely jailbreak my iPad again and use a PS3 controller before buying any of the current official MFi controllers though. It's not even just about price, although that's the main reason. I also just don't like any of them so far. The Stratus is at least bluetooth, but I don't really want to use a tiny cheap feeling controller. The only MFi one I've seen that I'd consider, ignoring the price, was that other full size bluetooth controller whose name I forget that was announced at E3, but that's not even out yet.

      • H4nd0fg0d

        Yup, at least I kno my ps3 controller is tried and true in all useful fashions- rite sze, great analog sticks, and button layout. And oh ya, not an $80 POS.

      • ZarieoZ

        Is it the one holding the iPad from 2 sides, Yeah that was the one I was really hoping for, it felt like a quality controller. And it had Bluetooth, then I heard they shut he site down. Shame really, I was hoping for that one.

      • bilboad

        No, it was the Signal bluetooth controller, which is similar in size and layout to a PS3 controller.

    • Amenbrother

      Can you return your phone to the way it was after you jailbreak? Say if you were going to trade it in for a new phone would there be a way to see it was jailbroken?

      • socalledsin

        Yes, you can completely revert it be restoring in iTunes.

      • zergslayer69

        Yup, once you restore, nobody can tell that you modified or jailbroke your device (unless you bricked it). Unlike rooting on android, if you do it wrong you end up with a counter that shows you've modified the device. But jailbreaking for idevices can be fully reverted with a quick restore.

      • Amenbrother

        Man so whats the chances of this bricking as you called it happening?

      • homosaur

        Basically zero but you never know. Then again iOS 7 bricked my iPad and that's an official update.

      • Amenbrother

        Ahhhhh

      • zergslayer69

        You either need incredibly bad luck, or be a total idiot during the jailbreak process like throwing it against a wall and disconnecting cable mid jailbreak to brick your device. Or maybe both. Either way it's quite rare unless you aren't following instructions.

      • Cilo

        The main reason TA doesn't advise jailbreaking is you really don't want to attract the audience that jailbreaking has here. Which are people who generally want to jb to install cracked apps. Thats my guess anyway.

      • homosaur

        Bullshit.

      • bilboad

        I see that claim a lot. I jailbroke for years and never once considered pirating any apps. Several friends of mine who jailbroke also never did it to pirate apps. There are just tons of useful apps and customizations to iOS that aren't approved by Apple. Some of these features now have iOS equivalents, but were available by jailbreaking sometimes years before Apple got around to supporting them. Some examples that I personally used:

        - iBlacklist allowed whitelists and blacklists of numbers to block or allow years before Apple finally added the Do Not Disturb feature. iBlacklist still has many more features than Do Not Disturb.
        - Changing wallpapers was supported via JB long before Apple supported it.
        - Tethering was supported via JB long before Apple supported it.
        - Using gestures to switch between apps, exit apps, and bring up the switcher was supported long before similar functionality was added to iOS on the iPad. JBing is still the only way to get this on an iPhone.
        - Folders with more than 12 items was only added finally in iOS 7, but was supported years before by JBing.
        - JB is still the only way to change your default web browser.
        - Functionality similar to Control Center added in iOS 7, and notification center added in iOS 5, was available via JB years before iOS had it. The functionality available via JB is still much more configurable than Apple's version.

        I could go on, but the point is lots of very useful software and customizations are available when you JB, so the idea that the only motivation someone could have to JB is to pirate apps is baseless. I've seen people who even acknowledge that there are other reasons to JB, but still insist that most people JB to pirate apps, but I've yet to see any actual evidence of that claim.

        That said, I don't blame TA at all for not wanting to cover topics relating to JBing. The fact that it's possible to use JBing in order to pirate apps, regardless of how many people do it, would understandably make developers wary of TA if TA promoted JBing.

      • http://bytefair.com/ Paul Graham

        I don't think they cover it because it's a small segment of a small segment, so what's the point? You definitely can't blame jailbreakers for piracy though as there's no way to go from jailbreaking to pirating games unless you're specifically looking to do that. You have to add the repos in question manually.

  • H4nd0fg0d

    Eli, nothing mediocre about the ps3 tweak. Mediocre are all other controller options for ios and tht is a very kind accessment. Mediocre article at best.

    • Adams Immersive

      I think he means that the software side (jailbreaking) is the downside; not that the PS3 hardware has issues.

  • ODMay

    Lmao, I bought a USB cable for $19.99 outta Walmart then seen one in the gas station for $15.99 with the home and car charging ports.

  • DarkScience

    Does that mean the uk price is down too? It's currently at £84.99. Hope it goes down too.

  • Adams Immersive

    I won't be an early adopter--the market will grow and the prices will shrink. I have the patience to wait for that, and not bother with high prices nor with jailbreaking--but kudos to those early adopters who are being the Egg for my gaming Chicken! (Waiting is easier since I enjoy my iCades already--but I do look forward to analog controllers as well.)

    • bigrand1

      I'm with you on this one. Market will grow, prices will shrink, and, with any luck, they'll make one that plays all your stuff! I'll wait 'til somebody gets it right. I'm not even tempted to buy any of these new cheap controllers except for the Moga that I use with my Android Note 3 phone. I do like that one, but the one I'm waiting for is for my iPad to turn it into a veritable console experience.

  • Naraka

    So much for all the conspiracy theories that apple locked the price at 99.99. Glad they are honoring for pre-orders. Now if they would just ship me the controller already... I pre-ordered when the first story broke and no news yet. Meanwhile I have been hoarding controller enabled games...

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      The verbiage this announcement was oddly surrounded by still very much lends credence to the price controlling conspiracy theories.

      • Naraka

        Interesting, I checked steelseries web site and did not see the announcement. Would you be able to post a link to the announcement? I would love to read the odd verbiage. I don't doubt with the license fee from apple that the prices are inflated more than they would be otherwise. Thanks

      • http://bytefair.com/ Paul Graham

        I don't think the assertion is that hardware devs are raising fees to cover Apple's license fees, but that Apple is putting a floor on MSRPs. Then again, I'm not super into following this argument. I'm waiting for cheaper and better PERIOD.

  • Lakers_Dodgers310

    I can afford the $99 price point but I still refuse to pay it because there is no value right now. I have no idea which games this controller will work on and we all know the Stratus 2 controller will be out in less than a year and these will go for $39.99 tops.

    By the time the 2nd generation controllers come out...we will have a confirmed list of games that support controllers and the first generation controllers prices will be cut in half and more. There is no rush to use a controller today so waiting makes more sense and saves money so you can use that cash to buy more games.

  • zergslayer69

    Three words "STILL TOO MUCH". With the controllers for all jailbreak tweak, there's very little incentive to get such an expensive controller unless you want something that wraps around your iphone (which this doesn't do anyways). Drop this to 40 or less and you'll have more interest.

  • crunc

    Like others have said, this is still way too expensive. I don't see why they can't make a controller like this be less than the price of a DS3. This controller looks pretty crappy and it costs way more? It makes no sense. No way MFi controllers take off if prices are going to be this high.

    • nini

      Bleeding edge tech is always always expensive to start off with. It's expensive now but it won't be forever, let someone else be the guinea pig.

      • crunc

        This controller is "bleeding edge"? What about this thing is bleeding edge?

      • homosaur

        If you think a controller is "bleeding edge tech" I'd like to introduce you to Atari 2600.

      • rewind

        A controller. Who created such breakthrough technology? I'm just mesmerized.

  • falco

    It should be under $60 and this controller have no force feedback

  • http://entrepreneurialblog.com Niclas Johansson

    SOLD. (Was on the fence earlier.) Why? Because the (anticipated) value of that much added fun to a lot of premium games exceeds my (perceived) sting of the cost.

    • http://bytefair.com/ Paul Graham

      The question for me is not the price but the quality. At $80 are these controllers even going to approximate the quality of an Xbox or PS controller? There's a reason most PC gamers still use console controllers on their PCs and that's because almost every third party controller is hot garbage.

      • H4nd0fg0d

        Word!!!!!!! ^^^

      • http://entrepreneurialblog.com Niclas Johansson

        I thought most PC gamers used keyboard and mouse? Anyway, a google search on "steelseries review" seems to give a favorable view of them as a quality hardware maker.

      • http://bytefair.com/ Paul Graham

        I'm open to it. I'd still like to get it in my hands before deciding.

      • chinito77

        Right, while the new price isn't too bad, there isn't much value at the moment. If this played every game off the bat, then it would be a stellar product but it will take a while for games to support it.

      • rewind

        The actual Xbox 360 was hot garbage. Literally, it would overheat.

  • Glenn Blanchard

    Instead of making it insanely overpriced they decided to back off and just make it stupid overpriced.

    • H4nd0fg0d

      And a piece of shyt to boot!

  • MicroByte

    I don't think my last comment passed moderation since it had links, but I wanted to bring up a point that this controller does not work with all iOS 7 devices. Be sure to check the product page for the controller since the iPhone 4S, iPad 2/3 cannot use this controller even though they run iOS 7.

    I know this because I bought one from my local Apple Store yesterday (which was $99.95 so not sure when this $79.99 is going to kick in). I paired it up and it connected, but every MFI compatible game returned the same message of "This accessory is not supported by this iPhone".

    Just wanted to pass that along in case anyone else was interested in the controller. It seems only those with lightning connector are compatible, even though the device is Bluetooth.

    • SoyGreen

      So.... you bought a controller yesterday that is still only available to preorder and unshipped?

      Cool story bro!

      Harassment aside - you are correct: :)

      COMPATIBILITY
      iOS 7 or Later Plus the Following:
      -iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5
      -iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPad 4th Gen
      -iPod Touch (5th Generation)

      • MicroByte

        Go to Apples site.
        Click on the Store tab.
        In the search dialogue, type "steelseries"
        Click on the product and the notice that it ships "Within 24 hours"
        It's also available for pickup if you search for an Apple store near you.

        Further proof, check the IOS 7 Game Controller Supported Games thread on the TA General Game Discussion and Questions board.

      • SoyGreen

        Nah - I don't need anymore proof. :)

        I jumped the gun in my smart ass reply.

      • MicroByte

        It's cool. Trust me, I've been dying for something like this for years now and was so mad when I found it wasn't compatible. Jailbroke last night and bought myself a PS3 controller today. I tried to do it the "right" way!

      • SoyGreen

        Yeah - that's what has me so pissed! I have an iPad 2 and an iPhone 5s... so I want something that is going to work on both!! But I don't want to jail break! So yeah... I may just settle on the PS3 controller and jailbreak my iPad 2 as that is where I want to be gaming for longer sessions.

      • MicroByte

        Good news, PS3 controller works flawlessly on my iPhone 4S! Now to rig together a clip to mount my iphone to the controller.

  • Kane

    With the price drop... It seems more expensive. Right now I'm happy using a DS3.

  • jammyman

    Eli, do you know what countries will get the first glance at this?

  • Alexythimia23

    Personally i would not pay more then £20 for a controller or wateva that is in dollars. I work and i could afford a £100 pad if i wanted, but damn its just gaming pad for ios, after all these years im used to touchscreen and i have personally never found it game breaking, so no way well i shell out for what they are asking as it needs alot more amazing console games ported to justify that sort of expense just yet, regardless of fees or legal terms in place making it expensive to develop, tough! Find a way round it, like im sure they will eventually! Still waaaaay too much (for me)

  • HippoHumper

    I feel like I'm the only one whose fine with touch controls, particularly the virtual stick and buttons configurations.

    • rewind

      I have no problem with touch controls either. If you want an iPhone with buttons, buy a Vita.....

      ....Haha, that was a good one, nobody has a Vita.

  • n8stowell

    It is weird to me that this controller is still listed as "pre-order" when you can walk into an apple store and buy one today. At the apple store it is still listed as $99. I wonder if this will change now?

  • xander134

    I guess the best thing one can say about this is that at least it's not $100 anymore. That said, and it seems most commenters agree, even at $80 this controller doesn't seem worth the price.

    Of course it will make some games a bit more playable, but try to remember that game devs have spent a CONSIDERABLE amount of time designing touch and swipe controls for ALL of these games. Yes, the FPS games will probably be way better, but it seems unlikely that much else will see that big of a difference.

    However, the more I read about the PS3 controller solution, the more tempted I become to JB my iPad. This saddens me, as I've tried to avoid JB'ing any iOS device, but that may have to change,considering how much I game on my iPad and the awful reviews of the current MFi controllers.

    For now, I'll probably wait a bit longer to do anything, but $80 crap controllers certainly aren't going to keep me from JB'ing forever...

    • falco

      I wish I could understand your JB language... :(

  • joshob1987

    "A mediocre solution"... That is classic, I would much rather use a controller i already have than spend $80. I would never own an unjailbroken device because I hate restrictions and i know exactly what I would be missing. There is no risk (unless you are an idiot) and so many advantages.