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New Backbone One Controller Brings a Console-Like Gaming Experience to iPhone

Richdmoore

macrumors 68000
Jul 24, 2007
1,855
287
Troutdale, OR
How’s it work on cases? Looking at the lightning end, there’s not a lot of room for extra clearance that you’d normally have with a wire (ie thinner to allow fitting through cases).
Good catch.... I might have been fooled. Here is the answer in the official faq:

Why doesn’t Backbone One work with a standard phone case?
We designed Backbone One to avoid compromising on gameplay at all costs. We’re so confident that the experience of playing on Backbone One is so much better than playing on your phone, that players will be happy to remove their cases to enjoy Backbone’s benefits.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
34,685
36,136
People still buy these?

Hardcore handheld gamers would. But that’s a really small market, and you really have to be into mobile gaming to take advantage of the controller layout, which I suspect this is more for like a ‘teen demographic’ than anything.
 

satchmo

macrumors 68040
Aug 6, 2008
3,063
3,040
Canada
They might want to partner up with a game developer and throw in a popular 'free' $60 game.
As it, it's pretty expensive. Then again, I'm not a gamer.
 

LeadingHeat

macrumors 6502
Oct 3, 2015
258
651


Apple's iPhone and iPad have supported gaming controllers for quite some time now, and there are several on the market, but the new Backbone One controller is being praised as one of the best new controllers to use with Apple's iPhones for mobile gaming.


The Backbone One connects to the sides of the iPhone and offers a standard controller layout with clickable thumb sticks, d-pad, analog triggers, action buttons, and more. It's designed to fit all of Apple's iPhones and works with any iPhone that has iOS 13 or later installed. There's a Lightning connector on one side that plugs into the iPhone's Lightning port for connectivity, so Bluetooth is not required and latency remains low.


The Backbone One features a dedicated button for recording gameplay or taking screenshots, and games can be recorded at up to 1080p at 30 frames per second. A Backbone app button also launches right into the Backbone app, and there's a 3.5mm headphone jack for use with headsets. Since it connects over Lightning, charging is not required.

With the Backbone One app, users can launch games and access game recordings, plus interact with friends through social features. When someone you're friends with also has a Backbone One, when a game is started you receive a push notification and can join in and you can communicate with one another.


Any game that supports game controllers is compatible with the Backbone One, including Apple Arcade games. Multiple reviews of the Backbone One have gone live today, and the controller is getting heavy praise. Wired said the controller has the exact layout you'll find on a console controller, and that it's so "immersive and well designed" that it's easy to forget you're playing on a phone.


The Verge said that Backbone "makes the iPhone feel like a bona fide gaming platform" and that the app features feel like "a gaming experience that somehow beats Apple to the punch of fleshing out its own gaming ambitions."

The Backbone One is priced at $99 and it must be purchased through the Backbone app. [Direct Link]

Article Link: New Backbone One Controller Brings a Console-Like Gaming Experience to iPhone
That right thumb is at a veryyy sharp angle by the looks of it. I wonder how your thumb will feel after more than 10 minutes of gaming on it.

Other than that, it honestly looks promising. I like that it’s powered by the phone, and doubles as a holder. The price is kinda steep though.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,309
2,477
That right thumb is at a veryyy sharp angle by the looks of it. I wonder how your thumb will feel after more than 10 minutes of gaming on it.

Other than that, it honestly looks promising. I like that it’s powered by the phone, and doubles as a holder. The price is kinda steep though.
It's basically a Switch Joy-Con layout. It's not the most ideal position for the stick, but the way I manage to use it is by holding onto the ring around the edge of the stick with the crease of my thumb instead of my thumb tip. Somehow it works for me and is more comfortable than that awkward-looking thumb flex in the photo. It looks like this controller also has that ring design, so it might feel similar.
 

Mathias Denichi

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2013
440
618
Oh yeah, I forgot Microsoft bought Bethesda. It's not impossible that it would happen. Microsoft isn't in the smartphone or portable market, so they could still release games for iOS.

Maybe Ubisoft has something they could put on iOS? I haven't seen a worthwhile game from them in awhile...
They actually just dropped the surface duo. I think they are getting back in via android.
 

BF1M

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2018
566
672
someone that bought a $1000 phone?

...point being they spent $1000 bucks on an iPhone for gaming? It wasn't a question of who could afford it; the question is who was into iOS gaming that much to want to spend the money even if they have it.

Quick show of hands; who pre-ordered the 12 due to it's awesome gaming potential?!
 
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Psychicbob

macrumors regular
Oct 2, 2018
212
424
...point being they spent $1000 bucks on an iPhone for gaming? It wasn't a question of who could afford it; the question is who was into iOS gaming that much to want to spend the money even if they have it.

Quick show of hands; who pre-ordered the 12 due to it's awesome gaming potential?!
You’d better tell Timmy that iOS and gaming don’t go, and it was a waste of Apple’s time showcasing flagship iOS games at their events.
 

jlocker

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2011
763
913
Lake Michigan
You might as well put in $200 more and get a Oculus Quest 2 VR headset with controllers and have more fun than games on a iPhone. It should be like $50.
 

creediddy

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2014
208
106
This is intended to appeal to Nintendo Switch buyers. Although there are exclusives such as Mario and Zelda on Switch. I can see this being a big thing if it's marketed right.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,824
4,337
$100? Who is seriously that into iOS gaming that they would spend $100 bucks on a controller?

As someone that doesn't really have the desire to sit down and play a console game, this seems like a good alternative if looking to kill some time. It doesn't seem that different than people that never use their switch as a "console".
 

gymnastboatman

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2014
111
13
This is only better than the Razer Kishi in that it has a headphone jack. But it doesn't have passthrough charging like the Kishi. Which when gaming, passthrough charging is way more important.

And I trust Razer's customer support way more than whoever the heck these guys are.
 
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BF1M

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2018
566
672
As someone that doesn't really have the desire to sit down and play a console game, this seems like a good alternative if looking to kill some time. It doesn't seem that different than people that never use their switch as a "console".

So no time to play console quality games but needs a controller to play console quality games on the go....

Hmm..
 
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Reactions: kevinpdoyle

jonnysods

macrumors 604
Sep 20, 2006
6,664
3,472
There & Back Again
See this is cool, but iOS games are not my jam.

I would love to see a Switch like experience for a PS5, grab it and go but man that thing would need some processing speed! And battery life!
 
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