Historically speaking for iOS gamers, despite being among the largest mobile conventions in the world, Mobile World Congress hasn't ever yielded much we'd be interested in. It's a conference filled with ten million variations of every nearly identical Android device, the hardware that powers cellular networks, and a bunch of other highly technical stuff that has nothing to do with iOS games.


Well, that changed this year. Say "Hello!" to the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth iOS 7 controller. Engadget scored a hands on, and had lots of good things to say to it- Largely due to the fact that it seems to essentially be a repurposed MLG Pro Circuit Xbox 360 controller, which Mad Catz has been reviewed quite well since its release over a year ago.

The iOS variety comes with a removable clip for holding your iPhone, and being Bluetooth, will seamlessly connect with any device capable of utilizing iOS 7 controllers instead of being stuck with hogging the Lightning port of the iPhone 5/5s like the Logitech and MOGA offerings. The Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i will be available for $80 in early spring, and according to Engadget, will come in black, white, blue, red, and orange.


As someone who has all the current available iOS 7 controllers cluttering up my desk, I'm ridiculously excited for a full-sized controller to hit the market. My current favorite is the SteelSeries Stratus, but its tiny form factor leaves much to be desired for long play sessions and its wacky trigger layout seems to prioritize form over function.

Hopefully 2014 is the year of awesome iOS 7 controllers.

[via Engadget]

  • https://twitter.com/FuurinRei FuurinRei

    It looks bigger then the Stratus so i may get it when its out. I love the Stratus but its a bit tiny.

  • Hampus Jensen

    Looks good. I like that it uses Xbox stick layout rather than Playstation layout. Was worried no company would do that since Apples specification shows the sticks in a Playstation layout.

    No idea why they'd go with a gloss finish for it though? Looks cheap even before people have had their hands all over it and a matte finish certainly would feel better.

    • greatnoob

      The specifications assert the amount of buttons and sticks and the signals they should send, it doesn't dictate the appearance or style of the thumb sticks because that would lead to literally the same controller being manufactured by different companies.

    • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

      The Moga Ace Power controller uses the xbox analog layout today, so I'm not surprised about that.

      There are multiple colors - perhaps some won't be as glossy...

      • Hampus Jensen

        Huh, guess I forgot that one.

  • vicsark

    I can't wait to play Mikey Flapps with my Madcatz controller πŸ™‚

    • iammane

      Lol yessss why hasn't that happened yet?!

  • ODMay

    I would love a Playstation-like controller better but I would still buy this.

    • DuckyShot

      On the Pro Circuit controllers for consoles, the sticks and dpad are switchable. It'd be cool if they did the same here, but I doubt it

  • SpacePenguinBot

    Looks good so far! We’ll see what the reviews say.

  • CooleTeeps

    What is that game their demonstrating?

    • Boris Nguetie

      Looks like sonic

    • Olip96

      Sonic CD

  • Boris Nguetie

    Eventhought i have a ps3 controller and controller4all i'm still getting this one!!!

  • http://tarasis.net/ Robert McGovern

    First proposed iOS 7 controller that has me excited. I love using the Xbox controller (even for some PC games) so I'm quite used to the feel already. The only sucky thing is the rather step price hike.

    • loophole

      Agreed. That's the only thing that scares me off from this one.

  • Alexythimia23

    Are there no one making pads for ipad?? Because i cant see me ipad clipping above that controller lol

    • svan11

      If it's anything like the iPega controller that I use to play Retroarch emulator on my iphone and ipad, the clip springs out and can retract back into the controller.

    • scrotally

      The article says it's supposed to be compatible with any ios 7 device capable of using a controller so hopefully that includes iPad. It's ridiculous that so many of these controllers have been coming out that aren't iPAD compatible. I have an iPad and iphone. After playing games on the iPad it feels like a waste to play most games on the iphone. Surprised these companies aren't focused on multi-functionality.

      • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

        The SteelSeries works fine on the iPad.
        The others do to actually, if you connect them via extension cord πŸ˜›

      • bilboa

        Have you actually tried connecting a controller to an iPad via a lightning extension cord, or are you just assuming it would work? I wondered if that we're possible too, but saw posts from people saying it didn't work.

      • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

        Yep, tried both personally, they work great on a technical level.
        In practice, the Moga is very rickety in that layout due to the way it was constructed, so not a great play experience. The Logitech works fine though

      • bilboad

        Thanks, good to know.

    • ImJPaul

      Maybe they'll make something like they made for the razer gaming tablet?

    • Themostunclean

      Read the article. The clip is removable so there's no need for an "iPad version" since most iPads can stand freely on its own with their case. It connects via Bluetooth so that clip has nothing to do with the controller communicating with the device.

      • Pete Martell


  • Kane

    So far so good... But the price! I'll have to STILL stick with my DS3 controller... For now.

    • Pete Martell

      If the controller is as advertised then the price is not that bad as opposed to the other pads.

      Also let me give you a tip, haggle, Apple store was willing to let me get steel and others for 50 instead after a minute of bartering (not to dismiss the high recommended retail price.)

      Obviously like other similar things it won't be long before they drop the price as well.

      • grid

        Wait... What?!? I've never heard of haggling at the apple store being a possibility. Where are you located? In the US?

      • Pete Martell

        EU, so to be fair it might be different where you are at? But I have also been told by American friends that they have done similar on 3rd party accessories over there. They also have a policy to let you try any such accessory for 2 weeks without having to purchase it should you return the item within that time.

        As a result I tested the 3 pads and a few battery cases without paying. But the battery case I got now if still great in a week I will buy.

        Anyway, hope that helps. Oh and the manufacturers also sell the products in their own stores where one could also haggle.

  • falco

    Its ugly I prefer playing on my iPad.

    • Pete Martell

      Works with iPad.

    • prime31

      Out of curiosity, why on earth does it matter what a controller looks like? It blows my mind to think that would be a deciding factor for someone. Are you looking at the controller or the game?

  • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

    Since Apple first announced controller support, I've been wondering when Mad Catz would announce one! Glad to see it's happened. Next up: Razer.

  • Pete Martell

    For iPhone I do not care at all nor do I want it, keep your clip and let me have my battery case instead.

    But for iPad it seems like the best option for many types of games and hopefully with next Apple TV rumored to play games this would indeed be great πŸ™‚

  • dancj

    A small part of me hopes these controllers never take off. If the y do take off in a big way then we could reach the stage where developers start being a bit half-arsed in the implementation of their virtual controls in the belief that everyone will be using controllers.

    Much like how many Ultimate games on the ZX Spectrum had QWERT being left/right/up/down/fire in the 80's because they incorrectly believed that everyone had joysticks.

    • http://matt.benic.us/ FlintZA

      I really doubt enough of the massive iOS user market will buy gamepads to justify making it the first consideration when designing controls. The only place I see it having an impact is when PC/console games already designed for a gamepad get ported-and it's not as if most of those have much thought put into their touch controls anyway.

      • dancj

        Yeah, you're probably right.

  • TheRybka

    This is something I would consider buying...
    But $80... Holy crap

  • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

    Who needs the intuitive touch interface! Elitist gamers rejoice!

    I kid, I kid..

    Seriously though, these controllers are a niche within a niche... so I question the success of these. I enjoy games as much as anyone - whether it be a PC game or a console game. But this attempt of implementing controllers on a touch device seems so counterintuitive to me.

    In my eyes, the reality is that not every genre works well on a touch device. So I suppose these controllers are an attempt to "fix" this. The uniqueness of touch also comes with it's strengths though. New genres are created, new mechanics are possible. Existing genres like turn based games, tactical games, match 3, puzzles, board games, hell even XCOM is better on a touch interface and way more intuitive. Way more than a keyboard that's designed for everyday use or perhaps even a controller. Why? Because those two things are mediums added between you and the graphic user interface or GUI.

    On the other hand, if a traditional controller attracts more gamers to iOS, than I'm all for it. After all, the more gamers that play on an iDevice, the more developers may potentially profit. The rest of this equation is easy to calculord, I mean calculate... (seriously check out Calculords)

    **Disclaimer: The above is my and only my opinion. You may share my opinion. You may not share my opinion. You may even believe it to be "toxic" or "internet". And that's OK. I can assure you though my opinion is authentic, thoughtful, and comes with a streak of passion. It doesn't make anyone elses opinion wrong or less important. It's simply an expression of mine**

    • bilboad

      I agree that there are lots of games which work just fine with touch and tilt controls, and wouldn't really benefit from a physical controller, except possibly for people who won't make the effort to get used to virtual controls. The majority of games I spend time on in iOS are like this.

      However there are lots of other games which iOS hardware is perfectly capable of running well, but which are kept from reaching their full potential for fun by lack of physical controls. I still play some of these games on iOS because I like the games enough to be willing to put up with the less than ideal controls in exchange for having a mobile game. Others are so annoying to play with virtual controls that I just don't bother. I keep being tempted to get a PS Vita because I enjoy racing games and some fighting games, but find them much more fun with physical controls. If I could use a controller with my iPad, that would be one less reason to get a Vita. I do want games to continue to support virtual controls as well. That way I can play the games whether or not I have the controller with me, but I have the option of having a more premium experience playing it in situations where I have my controller.

      In summary, to me a controller just seems like a way to extend the usefulness of my iOS devices to more genres of games, including games which I would otherwise only play on my Xbox. I don't think they'll become ubiquitous enough to stop game developers from developing games like Infinity Blade or Tilt To Live, which are specifically designed around virtual controls, so I don't see any harm in them catching on.

      • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

        This is a fantastic, well thought out response. Thank you for your insight. I can totally see how you can benefit from a controller. That said, I still believe they're a niche. I believe they can be useful, but like you said, not something that will change iOS gaming. Some, however, believe this to be true. I suppose my comment is aimed more at those opinions.

      • bilboa

        I agree in thinking iOS controllers will only be used by a minority of iOS users, though I'm still curious about just how big a minority it will be. At the current controller prices it will certainly be a small niche, but if prices dropped to say $30 for something like the Moga Ace, I wouldn't be surprised if they became a lot more common.

  • blakedaking

    $80 seems steep. I get that controllers on phones are new tech, but wouldn't buy unless they are around $50

    • TheRybka

      I'd imagine they have to pay a premium for developing for Apple. I'd pay $60, nothing more.

  • jeffyg3

    Looks good. Plus the controller has an Xbox 360 style controller layout and not the Playstation layout, so that's a HUGE plus, especially for 3D games like GTA. Hopefully the reviews are favorable.

  • bigjack66

    I don't understand I love the touchscreen why it's the technology of today

    • Kane

      Ever heard of emulators? That's my main reason to use controllers. Those old school games are made specifically with gamepads.

      • Pete Martell

        Emulation is not only a subpar experience it is piracy. TA seems fine with it but it really isn't.

        You can spend like almost nothing and simply buy the old system with games and play them as intended. Or if they make a port etc.

        I also hear Nintendo sells VC and the wii or wii u are pretty damn cheap.

        To play emulators on mobile is a disservice to the game, devs and even yourself.

      • Kane

        Why should I buy my games multiple times? I already own most retro consoles and the original games. I use emulators to play my favourite games of the past on my mobile. I'm will happily pay for some classics I suppose again... IF they make a great iOS port like DOTEMU are doing lately.

      • Pete Martell

        Well if you are one of the few and cool guys πŸ™‚

        -That will only play emulated games on emulators of things you actually bought at one time, then all good.

        But you are in a very small minority unfortunately and even then I would argue that the subpar experience is a disservice to the game as well as you.

  • bigjack66

    Hit the post button by mistake! Why do you want a controller. Why not just get a console instead? I got the ipod because it had the touchscreen and would give me a different experience. The joypad is over 30yrs old. I've never had a problem with the touchscreen for racers or FPS's or GTA, it's fine!

    • dancj


      FPS games play best with a mouse and keyboard - though touch screen isn't bad.

      Old school arcade games play best with an old school arcade joystick.

      Most puzzle type games play best with a touch screen.

      Racers play best with a steering wheel - but either tilt or touchscreen is good depending on the racer.

      I have yet to find a genre that actually plays best with a game pad.

      • grid

        I disagree about the joystick portion of this comment. I far prefer a gamepad for any game playable with a joystick. Also, notably, games like Tetris, or "dual stick" controls are way better with a controller than without.

      • dancj

        Tetris is easier on a keyboard than anything else.

        You might have a point with dual stick controller at though.

      • dancj

        Oops "you might have a point with dual stick shooters though"

    • Pete Martell

      Amen brotha!

    • jeffyg3

      Because I'm hardly at home, if I game, I'm at work waiting for work or at school. I have an iPhone and iPad mini, and when I'm out which is practically all the time, I would much rather game on a controller. I could care less about spending crazy amounts of money on a PSP or 3DS where the games are more expensive. Bastion & Sonic are so much better on controllers. Have an Xbox 360 also and sold off the PS3, but I'm hardly at home. So why the hell not a controller where games control much better on devices I want to play on? I like touchscreen also, but physical buttons on a lot of iOS games are so much better. If you don't like it, then don't get one. Simple as that

    • http://matt.benic.us/ FlintZA

      Because lugging an Xbox around with me everywhere I go is a royal pain.. not to mention trying to fit that HDTV in my pocket πŸ˜‰
      I've had a Gameboy (yes, the original, whippersnappers..) and PSP in the past, but I love having my phone or tablet also be my gaming device.

    • bilboad

      I do have a console, but it's kinda hard to carry my Xbox around with me when I'm out and about. πŸ™‚

      I'm regularly tempted to get a portable console like the PS Vita just so I can fully enjoy certain types of mobile games that in my opinion are more fun with physical controls, but if I could get a reasonably priced controller for my iPad then I wouldn't be tempted to get a Vita.

      • Goggles789

        Dude don't buy a vita. The cost of memory is 4 times higher than is being offered for normal memory of equal size, and the gaming library really sucks right now. Save your money, or if you want a good mobile system, a psp or a 3DS both are excellent choices. The gaming library on the 3DS Is very strong, and the PSP can emulate almost anything. The only recommendation I have regarding psp is that you use only digital games, because the hard copies suffer from extreme load times while digital is lightning fast. Hope that helps, man!

      • Pete Martell

        I think one has to be ignorant at this point to post on TA, own an iOS device and not think there are good enough games on it.

        iOS library makes both vita+psp+3ds pale in comparison.

        I honestly do not understand the logic behind owning either or all when one had an iPhone or iPad.

        Only acceptable reason is being addicted to Pokemon!

        Anyway, do agree, vita is a waste of money especially when support for it is dead.

      • bilboad

        I'm not sure who you're responding to, but neither I nor Goggles789 said anything about there not being enough good games on iOS.

        I also can't fathom why it's at all hard to understand why someone who owns an iOS device might also be tempted to get a Vita or some other portable gaming device, especially one with built in physical controls. In fact I suspect you're being a bit disingenuous. The fact that you're commenting in this thread, about iOS controllers, means you're well aware that many people prefer physical controls for at least some games. Until controllers became available for iOS devices that alone was a pretty clear advantage of a Vita.

        Sure, from a purely financial value-for-your-money perspective maybe a Vita doesn't make sense. But for a gamer who's not on a tight budget, it's definitely a pretty attractive device to own. Games are a lot more expensive, but they also tend to be premium games, and often pretty much full ports of console games. Sure there aren't 200,000 games for it like there are for iOS, but there are more good games than I'd probably have time to play on it, and more are coming out regularly, including recent console games. For example Borderlands 2 is coming out for Vita shortly. I haven't seen any action games of that caliber on iOS yet. I like hack-n-slash loot games like Diablo. The closest to that I've found for iOS is the Dungeon Hunter series, but they don't hold a candle to Borderlands. So there are definitely reasons to want a Vita in addition to an iOS device.

      • Pete Martell

        You got a point, more than one actually πŸ™‚

        And vita being dead or not doesn't always matter anyway if wanting to purchase it of course.

  • falco

    Fps is the only genre I think is not good with touchscreen but I don't care.

    • dancj

      I think touchscreen is better for FPS games than game pads.

      Mouse and keyboard beats both though.

  • karma32

    Xbox controller!!! Woot! I love my PS4, but the Xbox controllers are 100x better. Reason the Playstation Steel Series was a no go.

  • {SQUEEK}

    Idc its $80. I will never buy it.

  • panzerdss

    If it gets good reviews, I will pick this up. I love love to be able to use a 360 style controller and play GTA on my iPad.

  • Mhunt190

    Still no....

  • Onikage725

    Um, sold!

  • DuckyShot

    I never had a problem using the touchscreen with FPS shooters, but if Modern Combat 5 supports this controller, I might just get one.
    Btw, anyone know if the sticks are clickable?

  • MFiGamer

    Correct me if i'm wrong but this controller runs of regular AAA batteries.?
    1: MOGA/Powershell with huge 1800/1500mAh powerbank capable of charging your iphone/ipod. @$79 & $69
    2: SteelSeries Stratus no Powerbank feature but built in Li-Battery @$79
    3:MadCatz C.T.R.L.i ..No internal Battery, needs regular AAA batteries. @$80.

    Seems like someone is ditching features whilst retaining the the pricetag!

    • {SQUEEK}

      Its ridiculous that the controllers cost more then game console controllers.

  • bigjack66

    Wrong again touch is how we interact with something. Not through external devices. Touching the screen to interact with something is our most basic human feeling! I love the touchscreen I love being able to rotate and move things by swiping round the screen rather than waggling a joystick. It's why they invented the touchscreen in the first place!

    • bilboad

      Touchscreen was invented because it works well for some things, and also makes more efficient use of space for mobile devices, where space is at a premium, since you don't have to permanently devote part of your device's space to a keyboard. It's not ideal for everything though. For apps where you're directly manipulating things on the screen, touch controls actually seem more intuitive than physical controls. Lots of games have controls that are basically mimicking physical controls though, and I'd argue that for most of those games, actual physical controls work better assuming portability wasn't an issue. Using virtual controls for those games is a compromise, though one most of us are willing to make in exchange for having a little portable gaming system that fits in our pockets.

  • GSport

    It will be perfect for playing apps on the all new Apple TV....

  • Tobias Holmes

    Okay, this is something I can get behind.

  • http://matt.benic.us/ FlintZA

    It's great to see prices on these controllers creeping down, if only slowly. And this being a full size controller for $20 less than the rest that tend to be scaled down really shows them up.

    It would be great if some of these gamepads supported Android as well, for those of us that have devices from both sides of the fence.

  • Taeles

    Sigh. Still waiting for some sort of attach on controller for ipads/iminis. Something like the joystick addon for the razer edge pro. Mmmm.

  • http://www.the-app-shack.com Matt F

    Looks good but that many buttons to play Flappy Bird? We only need 1!!

  • Devok

    Aww no wireless?