Stratus Family_Tempimage

If you read the headline and looked at the image, that's just about all there is to this news right now. Anyway, looking back at our review of the non-XL Stratus, our main criticisms were price point and its size being uncomfortable for marathon gaming sessions. Well, the XL-ized Stratus most likely fixes the latter problem… But I'm guessing it won't do much about the former.

The Stratus XL is coming later this year, and no pricing details have been announced yet. However, given the price of all the other MFi controllers out there, it's safe to assume it'll be somewhere between $80 and $100.

  • B30

    Stratus XL - it will fit perfectly in the pants pocket

    • Stormourner

      we need a bigger pockets XD

    • Michael Graham Jr

      It fits mines

    • Leydz Boomshaka-Irwin

      Hence the smaller one? maybe?

  • redribbon

    now i want this. the old one is too small on my hands.

    • HansKaosu


    • Onikage725

      Agreed. I'm the same with my droid phone. I have a moga pro for home use (when running through TV for example), and smaller controller for on the go. Likewise, I have a controller for my itouch, but this would go nicely with my iPad for home gaming.

  • Revlution4ever

    this looks phenomenal for an iPad. But, I think the only company to really get it right is Mad Catz (and that's not even out yet). If you're going to use a controller for iPhone games, it's awkward to just sit it down. You need a stand or some clip attachment.

    Still, it looks like controllers are headed in the right direction. This looks super high quality.

  • Kevin MacLeod

    Competition seems to be heating up in the MFi controller world. Razer, Hori, Mad Catz, Moga now SteelSeries all launching new stuff. Wonder if we'll see even more at E3.

    And about prices, I think people will be pleasantly surprised with the price of the Mad Catz controller.

    • HansKaosu

      There is not much competition on the iPad front though compared to iPhone. :/

      • Kevin MacLeod

        I'm not so sure. The Mad Catz, this SteelSeries, the Hori controller, the Moga Rebel (if that is still happening), the GameCase, the Signal RPone... lots of iPad controllers of various styles coming soon

    • DMan2385

      Completely agree. Also, I would be (and I suspect A LOT of other people would be) willing to spend $80 to $100 on a Bluetooth MFi Controller if it worked cross-platform between the Mac and iOS. I have a sneaking suspicion that the “game forwarding” technology that was just announced at the WWDC, we will see cross-platform compatibility with these MFi Controllers with the release of iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite.

  • Stormourner

    Stratus XL bigger the better

    • DuckyShot

      But the D-Pad doe

      • Stormourner

        watcha gonna doooooe!! XD

  • visualplayer

    As an early adopter I bought the Steel Stratus. Sick of how controller integration is so limited. It seems quite a few mfi games only work on iPhone-FFIII for iPad doesn't seem to like it. No new adopters since the damn thing came out. What there is is concentrated for iPhone rather than iPad games. Glech.

  • iVaro

    Signals RP one still looks like the best MFi controller to me

  • OrangeJews

    Why is it so expensive? Is it really more expensive to produce than any other game controller?

    • {SQUEEK}

      Its Ridiculous the price of these controllers. Cost more then console controllers. With that you dont even know if the games work with them.

      Talk to me when they get down to $30.

      • DeInit

        If no early adopters buy them when the projected adoption (and thus net income) is uncertain, then the price will never go down. That is true for any new product or product entering a new market, as this one is. Of course it's not more expensive, but if it turns out nobody wants them, you'll have the Atari landfill all over again.

      • {SQUEEK}

        I WANT a controller i just dont NEED a controller.

        Im sure people are going to buy it... Im just not one to rush and get some thing blindly. I will just have to wait a couple of years util the prices are more reasonable. By that time most the bugs will be out and more games working with it.

      • DMan2385

        Your going to be waiting a LONG time if you will only buy a controller at $30. Heck, you'd be hardpress to find a Xbox One or PS4 controller for just $30. Seems to me, for a brand new controller, if it's sold at that price it wouldn't leave any profit margin for the hardware manufacturer so then why would they put in the time and investment if it's going to be losing them money?

        Now if you said you weren't willing to buy a controller until the price got down to $60 or $50 dollars, well that makes a little more sense since you can find brand new controllers at that price point.

        Anyways, personally I would be willing to spend $80 on a certified MFi controller if it worked cross-platform between Mac and iOS.

      • {SQUEEK}

        I concede to the $50-60 mark

  • ins0mniac1

    'Controllers for All' remains the best Jailbreak tweak of all time for us gamers on iOS 7.0.x. I bought a second hand PS3 controller for $20 to use with my i
    Pad and couldn't be happier. When official controllers drop below $50 I might take another look.

  • DuckyShot

    Hmm... If this comes out in the fall, then I might just go for the Mad Catz CTRLi, which is supposed to release this month

  • Cheuk Seto

    I really want to like the stratus. $99 price point is not a big deal for me (not that I am rich, but I am already used to the Apple Tax). It seemed like the best controller out there for iOS. I always imagined myself using my iPad Air as the display while using a controller for playing. But one session of Real Racing 3 had proven that thought wrong already. The stiff and tiny analog stick makes steering input way too sensitive. The d-pad felt VERY unnatural when steering the car. The biggest problem I felt was the lag between my input and the outcome in the game. The lag really throws me off in corners. When playing other shooters or action games, those mentioned were non-issues, as input accuracy is not as necessary. I think this example really showed that Firemonkeys did a superb job at optimizing the touch screen, and also showed that they did not really do the same for a physical controller (or they did, but that's the best they can muster?). The controllers can keep coming and keep improving on physical feel, but I hope the lags and sensitivity issues do too, then I believe the controllers (and iOS as a serious gaming device) will truly show their potential.

    • DeInit

      That's a matter for software optimizations, for the most part. The analog sticks do not feel stiff in the least to me, and anyway given the differences in that department between, say, the 360 controller and the PS3 (not to mention the infinite number of controllers of other parties in the past decades), it is a subjective matter at best.
      Never tried Real Racing 3 with the Stratus as I'm not really into simulations, but on Asphalt 8, for example, I felt it did a reasonably good job and only needed a bit of tweaking in how it handled drift (with touch, you initiate it and calibrate it with tilt, but with the controller, it sometimes exited the drift while steering, possibly because of how the dead zone for the drift had been programmed). So all in all, this type of issue is not really against controllers so much as about optimization.

      • Cheuk Seto

        I have to say it would be optimization largely responsible for the lagging. But I should really say the "stiff" part really comes in when I am moving the stick away from the neutral position. It's fine when it's at a scale that is on a regular sized controller like the dualshock and possibly, the stratus XL ( and I think on a larger controller, it would be imperative to maintain that "on-center" feel). This "issue" seem to magnify itself on a pocket controller that's also having a lag issue and on a racing simulation. I feel totally fine using my stratus when playing minigore, though. And above all, I really wish the mfi controller will become more mainstream and maintain better consistence across both software and hardware, or vice versa.

      • DeInit

        I wish the same. As for the stiffness, like I said, it's rather subjective, both from your perspective and that of controllers. I used to buy different controllers for different types of games on PC, too, 15 years ago.

  • stolenlogic

    Will this work on my Mac too? That would make games tons better. If not, what's a good game controller for Mac games??

    • {SQUEEK}

      You can get logitech, ps3, even xbox... Just need a controller program you can get from the mac app store.

      • stolenlogic

        Thanks for the help

  • StingsOfDeath

    Why are we paying $80-$100 for subpar controllers that are not even completely accepted by the developers? An Xbone controller is higher quality with more components and cheaper. Also, there I feel like games are still going to be built for touch controls with these as a second thought as they can't count on the community fully embracing them. I was initially excited but price and actual utilization of the controller to set it apart from touch controls seems to be disheartening.

    • DeInit

      Subpar? Maybe some, but not all of them, and that isn't any different than any other environment anyways. An X1 controller may well be higher quality but is pushed by an environment that is orders of magnitude more profitable. This is an emerging market and so prices are of the early adopter fashion.
      Sure, some games will be built for touch only, and that's fine. Some will even be built with MFi support as an afterthought, but as the api matures and optimization becomes easier, that afterthought will be enough.

      • StingsOfDeath

        I understand... Just seems like if price matched the underutilization... Or better yet, I'd rather a cheap, lesser quality controller to buy, use with the few games it actively enhances and watch the market for them and games grow together. I've been asking for a controller for a long time now and as 90% of my gaming is on IOS id like to see it grow... Just feels disjointed atm.

  • RodrigoCard

    These wireless controllers really need a clip to attach the phone.

    • DeInit

      Assuming you want to use them with the phone.

  • Leguro

    PS3 controller is cheaper and has a tried and true form factor. PS3 controller is less than half the price. These are for suckers!

    • Escoria

      I agree. I have been using my PS3 controller to play GTA San Andreas and Galaxy on Fire 2 on the IPad. $100 is too much for these controllers. $50 would be a more acceptable price range. Until then, PS3 controller will do.