Hands on ... SteelSeries Stra­tus XL Gam­ing Con­troller

The Herald Magazine - - MALE ORDER - SEAN DIM­MOCK

What is it? An IOS wire­less gam­ing con­troller. How will it change my life? The idea of a ded­i­cated Blue­tooth games con­troller for IOS de­vices seems a tad over the top at first. Why go to all that ex­pense for games that are rel­a­tively un­so­phis­ti­cated com­pared to proper con­soles, and are played on tiny screens?

The Stra­tus XL grabbed my doubts and smashed them with one press of the fire but­ton. Medi­ocre games took on a new lease of life and I found my­self sneak­ing away for one more match on Fifa. Good points? Games have to be com­pat­i­ble with the con­troller. For­tu­nately there are more than 580 to choose from and this list is in­creas­ing. The func­tion­al­ity is the same as a games con­sole con­troller and brings the best bits of the Xbox and PlaySta­tion to­gether.

The game pad and but­tons are well en­gi­neered and feel sturdy but not so bulky that op­er­a­tion is dif­fi­cult. This de­sign gives con­fi­dence that the Stra­tus will en­dure the harsh treat­ment dealt out dur­ing the frus­tra­tion of a last-minute loss to Brondby in the Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fier.

There would also be no prob­lems in swap­ping the pre­cious/frag­ile phone for con­troller in the hands of any chil­dren. SteelSeries, the mak­ers of the Stra­tus have also in­cluded a handy so­cial el­e­ment where you and three friends can take al­ter­nate shots with the con­troller and it will re­mem­ber whose turn it is. Bad points? It isn’t the most com­pact of gad­gets so hardly ideal for the com­mute. It also re­quires iOS 7 or later, rul­ing out older de­vices. While slick and high-qual­ity, it’s a touch pricey for a plat­form-limited piece of hard­ware. Best for ... Mo­bile gam­ing ad­dicts. Avoid if ... You don’t own a de­vice stand as hold­ing an iPad while try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate the con­troller would likely end in YouTube/ You’ve Been Framed hu­mil­i­a­tion. Score? 7/10.

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