Sadly, it'd seem that things have cooled down quite a bit on the MFi game controller front. What originally seemed to have so much promise when it was first teased at WWDC last year has sort of stumbled out the door. High price points, mediocre construction, and with games that make these controllers appealing being few and far between the whole market hasn't really gone anywhere.

razer-junglecat-carousel-black

Well, Razer might turn some of that around. The first wave of MFi controllers all seemed to be racing their products out to be first to market. The SteelSeries Stratus is the best one available now, but the bar hasn't been set very high. Razer is a company well known for making awesome PC/console gaming accessories, but to be fair, so is SteelSeries. The difference here is Razer has taken their time with this controller, which could make all the difference.

Here's the promo video:

As you can see, the design of the Junglecat is very similar to the Blade Pad in that it always stays connected to your phone and the controller portion slides down when you need it. It's better than the other clunky snap-on controller cases, but is probably going to make your iPhone 5/5s pretty thick when it's on.

Where I think the Junglecat will pull ahead is in its companion app where you can tweak the settings of the device on the fly. Analog sensitivity on these controllers have left a lot to be desired as it varies greatly from game to game how the analog controls are interpreted. Hopefully the companion app smooths that out a bit.

For (loads) more information, check out the Razer Junglecat site, alternatively you can be notified when the controller is available to purchase for $99 here.

  • anarchy in the app store

    Mifi controller, huh?

    Back in my day, we used sticks and rocks to make our OWN Mifi controllers for our iPhones, and they were much better than this corporate owned shite!...

    They were highly flammable, though...

    • nini

      They cost $250 but those were the prices we paid then for quality, not like this $99 crap. Kids know nothing about core gaming...

      • rewind

        Well that depends on what your definition of core gaming is...

      • VarshaMoretoniss

        My Uncle
        Riley got an almost new red GMC Canyon just by some parttime working online
        with a laptop. visit their website F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

      • anarchy in the app store

        ... I don't think you get the joke...

  • Devok

    These controllers are way to expensive and think, I would never buy one.

  • torosama

    Seriously need more iPad controllers and less of this phone stuff. I have 0 games installed on my phone. They need an attachment that plugs into an xbone or ps4 controller that turns it into a mfi controller and stop with this useless 99$ shenanigans.

    • Dueler

      Jailbreak+ControllersForAll does PS3, PS4 & Wii U Pro. As for official support I highly doubt it.
      Anyway the 5S is 0.3" and this more then doubles it at 0.7" I mean of course that's not a bad thing because if they went thinner it would feel flimsy and uncomfortable but over all it would take up just a bit more space in my pockets then would justify keeping it on the phone at all times. Either way I'm happy playing with my ps3 controllers.

      • Adams Immersive

        An MiFi adapter for regular controllers would be unlikely to pass Apple's official MFi program requirements, I agree. But could such a gizmo still be perfectly software-compatible with MFi, even if it can't display Apple's MFi logo? That sounds like a good option to me.

      • Leguro

        *A MiFi adaptor

      • jeffyg3

        It's "an MFi adapter." In English it has to do with the sound at the beginning, not the actual letter. Also saying "a mfi adapter" simply sounds wrong when you're saying it out loud and would probably make people's brains bleed internally, so I suggest not going there :p

      • I am Error.

        That's right. An embrace. An encounter. Good point =)

      • Design by Adrian

        an MFi adapter. a [myfy] adapter.

      • frankjonen

        Collins and American Heritage dictionary both suggest `adaptor` and `adapter` to be used interchangeably. In British English it is sometimes used to differentiate between a person who adapts and a part that adapts one item to another. Useful in circumstances when a person and a device are adressed in close context.

  • Adams Immersive

    Insane prices aside (they may well come down), I'm cautiously pessimistic: the weak spot in Razer's desktop gaming hardware has been their companion software (Synapse 2). Weak in terms of quality (bugs, system conflicts, poor UI), and intrusive and mandatory cloud component (you must create an account just to use it) and the very fact that without that companion software, some of their hardware is limited in ways that are unnecessary—as though they simply want to make you log into their cloud service. I've liked some of their hardware (despite the prices), especially older hardware that worked as fully as possible without drivers. But their Windows and Mac software is poor.

    So when I hear that this iOS hardware has sensitivity problems, and that companion software may solve them (when other devices manage not to need that?) I have some unpleasant Deja Vu! Here’s hoping Razer isn’t being like Razer in this case, and that the software is excellent, or at least an unnecessary extra.

    In any case, these pocket solutions are neat, but for me, I want a full-size normal-shaped game controller. When I want portability, the onscreen controls provide that already.

    • Styrixa

      It isn't this particular hardware that has sensitivity issues, it is all apps which are MFi ready which have the issues. The other Controllers on the market don't address this, so this is the first one that does. I'm cautiously optimistic. Although $99 is too much for an add-on.

      • Adams Immersive

        I see--if it's all controllers that vary from game to game, then a companion app may indeed be necessary, and sounds useful. Although the first culprit I'd look to: games not supporting MFi very well--untested and uncalibrated. If it's possible to make different games all feel correct, then that's how it should be done.

        If on the other hand, different MFi controllers vary in sensitivity from each other (above and beyond personal preference/feel), then that's Apple's fault for not standardizing that element, and it's a hardware problem games can't fix. The fix would be hardware that is well-calibrated to begin with, or else a companion app to adjust it.

        It's all too new for me to buy! But it will shake out.

    • Dueler

      Razor force you to create an account to use synapse yes, but c'mon it takes less then a minute to switch to the incoming email and verify an account lol. And for this small inconvenience your keyboard, mouse & other layouts you set up are safely stored in the cloud.
      That's especially important when you have gone to the effort and spent hours tweaking different profiles.

      • Adams Immersive

        Very true--but they used to store those layouts on-device, and even if the cloud is in some way better than that for migrating settings, it shouldn't be needed for other things. (For instance, you need a cloud account to enable 4-way scrolling, while my Logitech mouse scrolls all 4 directions with no driver or cloud account needed at all.) And you have to agree to let Razer share your email address with partners. So I feel that if you won't want cloud migration, the driver should work without that sign-up. Plus their software is rough, conflicting with other things (Final Cut has been an example) and even causing crashes for some people. And it slaps their logo on the top of your screen all the time (Mac version anyway) which just looks cheesy and does nothing.

        Don't get me wrong--my Razer mouse is my daily pointing device, and other than scrolling issues it feels better than anything I've owned. But the software I ended up just uninstalling, and living without 4-way scrolling. I do hope they get their act together. Synapse 3?

  • hourglass

    No analog sticks? Pass.

  • mbrew

    Forget the analog sticks and price point for a minute; can we talk about how bizarre and terrible that video was?

    • lll Anubis lll

      Well... I think it was interesting. Yes it was very cheesy, but at least it had some bad humor in it. I personally would give it 3 thumbs up for a cheap ios accessory trailer.

      • skylerolson

        No way, it was awful!

  • Deewin

    Hardcore gaming but no analog sticks? Hardcore gaming is what a handheld gaming system like Vita and 3DS is for, rpgs and action gaming designed for a control pad. By the time this comes out the iphone 6 will be out and the iphone 6 version of this pad probably won't be out in 6+ months where are are better controllers with analog sticks out anyways.

    • Dueler

      We'll no the first iteration is always going to take the longest, subsequent models shouldn't really take as long because they already have a working knowledge of the systems.

  • Revlution4ever

    What happened to the Mad Catz CTRL I?

    That was supposed to be 80 dollars and was a polished, fully functional Bluetooth pro controller with a flexible clip for the iPhone. It's perfect and it's gone MIA since February.

    • http://afterpad.com/ Kevin MacLeod

      Cheaper than 80 dollars, coming within the month...

  • AngryBaby

    Here's my question.. Some of the best games ever made for iPhone/iPad (Battleheart Legacy, XCOM, Infinity Blade, etc.) won't ever be able to have controller functionality for the sole reason that they were not developed as controller games. There is such a TINY market for these controllers that I can't imagine they will ever become mainstream. At least not in the present state of iOS gaming. If, by some stroke of genius, they figured out how to port Battlefield 5 or Dark Souls 3 to the iPad, then we'd be talking. But until then, this won't be a thing.

    • AngryBaby

      I guess my question is.. Where is the demand for these controllers? Why aren't developers even supporting them? And why does everyone get so excited and then so bent out of shape over the price and quality of something that would hardly get used?

      • Tycatz

        I would LOVE a controller for my emulators. I'd buy one for that reason alone.

      • 61050

        bingo

      • sticktron

        You're better off using a real one then like the PS3 controller.

      • sticktron

        (especially since controllers like this one don't have enough buttons to emulate PSX or other later systems)

      • trazer

        I love platform games for example, but hate playing them on a touch screen. No matter how well done I'm still going to miss hitting the right spot on my screen from time to time. I would get on if it were priced right just for those games alone. Most racing games I feel the same way about, hence I have virtually none of those on my ipad. I have no racing games and only one platformer, Ms. Claire Garden and though it's controls are among the best I'd still really like a controller.

        In the end I play games more designed for a touch interface, but there are genres I'd play if I could play them well, hence my personal desire for a controller.

    • Deewin

      but even then this controller has no analog sticks so this would be useless for fps/ 3rd person action games that utilize the camera with a stick

  • http://www.googlepants.com/ Wizard of Odyssey

    This looks pretty neat to me -- I was the one person who really liked the PSP Go, which this resembles. I can live without analog controls. Unfortunately, this one doesn't seem to charge the device like the other MFi controllers out there. If it did, I would consider this a fair price for a nice looking, pocketable game case.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matthew-White/1633850433 Matthew White

    I'd pay up to $45 for this. I hope they see the light and lower their insane price.

  • DN Mic

    The only question for an online fps player (e.g. Modern combat) , will there be a lag?

    • hourglass

      Doubtful, if you're running a current Apple iOS on current hardware.

  • terrence92

    Stratus steelseries is the best. End of story

  • HelperMonkey

    I won't pay $100 for an accessory. Good thing it's only $99...

  • tommet

    Still waiting for one to use with an iPad...

  • Axl3dd

    Try making a fully covered phone case with a battery charger and controller for $100 bucks oh wait only china gets the good stuff we get the leftovers

  • pkmaximum

    Finally someone is stepping up their game! Definitely may pick this one up.

  • Boobi

    Am I the only that loathes that commercial ad!? A guy called cat licking milk from a cat bowl!

  • https://twitter.com/ScotDamn Scot Damn

    This thing looks to be all class. Finally, a well thought out design. A case and controller that actually makes sense for everyday life.

    Send me a promo and I'll use it at my Verizon store!

  • spokentruths772

    It doesn't even charge your phone like other ones ehh to bad I was kinda looking foward to it oh well

    • Design by Adrian

      But it's not using Bluetooth, so it doesn't drain battery like the others.

  • Leguro

    Obnoxious commercial. Could only watch half.

  • wingsofdestiny89

    Still waiting for a iCade 8-bitty successor

  • chief78

    Wow a ton of useful info on the limitations of their hardware (thank you for that), but everyone seemed to miss the very obvious flaw with this controller.....no analog, and only the single d-pad. In own the MOGA and love it for the games that are (and more continue to be) adapted to use the full functionality. Companies that uselessly make controllers without dual analog are both limited in their scope for success of the controller, but more so, they're further damaging MFi support and where this market segment can go. Honestly, those who don't care for controllers on your games, cool. Just don't dog those of us that want to be at the forefront of this movement to incorporate controller functionality into our phones (and hopefully iPads.....I agree it's appalling still no iPad controller support or adapters). If you had a chance to test drive a Steel Series or a MOGA, there would be a little envy in not owning one....price point aside. Sooooo, here's to hoping we get REAL controllers and controller support, across all devices, and an iOS section in the App Store highlighting just MFi games.

  • Grits n Gravy

    psp go says 'hi'

    • chief78

      I own a Vita....;)

  • DemoEvolved

    *Controller not actually available. Click notify me to let them send you a mail when they get around to deciding if they actually want to make it. Vapor-hardware, not a first time for razor either. Sigh

  • Joe Welke

    One thing that iOS 8 has that hasn't been discussed yet here is "controller forwarding". Supposedly, if you have an MFi controller paired to your iPhone, your iPhone will bridge its inputs over to your iPad and even your Mac.

  • kevin8977

    When I had my Android phone, I brought a Bluetooth enabled game controller for $20. Twenty dollars!!! What is up with this $100 bullshit!??!

  • I am Error.

    Oh, my poor incompatible 4S. Thanks, Apple.

  • TouchMint

    Best looking one so far. Wish it was a bit thinner but still the most interesting controller yet.

  • Tommmy

    When will they learn that a controller should cost no more than $40? Also the video is really dumb.

    • TouchMint

      Pretty sure they have a pay apple a ton just to be an official MFi controller. Could be north of $20 but im not totally sure. There is a reason you are not seeing many MFi controllers below $100.

  • http://whackylabs.com chunkyguy

    That promo video was the stupidest thing I saw in a really long time

  • Mestour Zouhair

    Wtf is this ?

    no analogue sticks no triggers no bumbers + looks cheap for 100$

  • Design by Adrian

    Now you're playing with Power!

  • Endscrypt

    Why all the hate!

  • Cilo

    This is about 6-8 months too late. Why create a product that will be tied to a specific iPhone design with a new one coming out in 3-4 months?

    • https://twitter.com/ScotDamn Scot Damn

      Because cell phone users usually have their phone for 2 years, being in a 2 year contract with their wireless carrier.

      • Cilo

        which a big part of the market is renewing with the device upgrade. most people already know iPhone cycles at this point.

      • https://twitter.com/ScotDamn Scot Damn

        You don't understand. People will be getting into iphone 5's up the i6 drops. Even after it drops people will be locking up 2 years with the discounted i5's. That's at least 2 years after 9/2014. Plenty of revenue to be had.

      • Cilo

        Sorry meant to say "Personally I think", so thats my opinion. I do understand, from my perspective.

  • cgmpowers

    I'm really irritated with companies like this that handicap the upgrade process by building in a case into the design. Camera lenses to gamepad controllers, when you make the form factor dependent on the case design it forces us to either keep an older phone when its time to upgrade or purchase a new gadget when we've upgraded the phone and the form factor has changed.

    Companies like this who use the design so dependent on the case/form factor also handicaps iPad users who have an iPad Mini, iPad Air and older iPads which are left out by those designs who basically tell you that if you're not an iPhone 5(c,s) then you're SOL.

    This is one of the reasons I've not rushed out to buy a MiFi controller. I have an iPad3 and am waiting until the iPad Mini gets TouchID until I upgrade. I've already sold my iPhone 5 so again, I can't use this device anyway. Its just frustrating that in the age of bluetooth 4.0...and multi-iOS devices, this really irritates us iPad users.

  • seti

    No sticks for $99 and only iPhone 5x? No, thanks.

  • AJShadowz

    Oh look!!! Another overpriced controller with no sticks and only fits on iPhone!!! Yay!!! I wonder if Razor will also make a larger version that only fits iPhone 6 so all original buyers will be forced to upgrade along with their phones!!! Double yay!!! I wonder if they will make one only for ipad as we'll so if u have an iPhone 5s and upgrade to a 6 and also have an ipad you'll have to buy three mediocre 100 dollar controllers!!! Tripple yay!!!

  • jForsythe

    Does anyone know if anyone is making a controller for the iPad, the iPad needs one just as bad as the iPhone.

  • Whit

    another crappy controller for MFI?

    Why can't SOMEBODY release a REAL controller? Android has them! XBOX and PS have them. Heck my logitech 710 cost 40.00 and works with my PC AND my PC Android emulators. I also have a cheapo $15.00 PC controller fot playing coop mode woth my son on the PC and even THAT is better than the crap controllers that keep getting released for IOS. As a 5s owner, Im sitting here with an incredibly powerful gaming system and literally not ONE decent controller I am aware of. Please dont mention thst miniaturized joke the steel stratus