PowerA is bringing gamers a different way to get your game on with it’s new MOGA controller and mobile application. Keep your thumbs where they belong while keeping your gear to a minimum with a controller for your mobile phone or tablet.
If there’s one thing that military gamers know it is that if there is a less than ideal place to sit around and wait for hours, the military will find it. In cramped vehicles, tents, re-purposed buildings or that oh so enjoyable trans-Atlantic flight courtesy of the Air Force. You don’t always get the room you need/want for your gaming gear so your high speed low drag laptop may have to ride coach or stay back at the FOB but that doesnt mean you have to be without a little mental distraction.
PowerA has a history of putting out after market control items for gaming, here’s their own description of who they are.
PowerA creates innovative accessory products that enhance the world’s best video game and mobile technology experiences. A brand that has become known for high standards and quality manufacturing, PowerA delivers the safest products possible including game controllers, cases, starter kits and a wide collection of other accessories. PowerA products are available across the globe at major retailers including North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America. To learn more, visit PowerA.com. PowerA: Amplify Your Experience™
At PAX Prime Off Duty Gamers got a tour of the upcoming MOGA unit from PowerA. We had heard a little bit about the MOGA unit at E3 but this was the first time we were going to get a chance to see it and ask a few questions. The thought process was simple, when you have your own tablet or smart phone you have some games available but the controls are usually touch based which takes up valuable screen space mashing your thumbs around without getting the control you are used to with your standard controller.
PowerA’s solution is to offer not only a controller that allows you to play compatible games but to offer an application that provides MOGA enhanced games.
At first understanding what niche the MOGA unit fits into may leave you wondering why you’d buy one but imagine all the times you have time to kill but due to location or situation, little or nothing to do. Most of those times you will have your trusty smartphone or a tablet and can read a book or play one of the small mobile games. Many of the mobile games these days are fun for short play but ruin the larger screens by requiring you to control via touch. In some environments gloves or dirty gritty fingers can make for a difficult time if not offer great ways to ruin a good screen. What could you do if you had a very familiar style controller in your pocket that linked to your phone offering you the full screen?
There you have it, the MOGA unit is a controller that links with your android phone (sorry iPhone users, the system isn’t on the iOS platform) or tablet running Android 2.3 or better via bluetooth technology and allows you to have a game controller on the go!
No wires, and no fumbling for a recharge off a wall or USB, the MOGA unit is simple, wireless and runs on simple AAA batteries. The benefits here are great for mobile gaming in that you can quickly toss the controller in a pocket, no extra wires to deal with if you carry a couple extra batteries you should happily be able to game for hours.
The unit itself is smaller than a standard gaming controller but the unit is solid and feels well in the hand. The center lifts up to reveal a spring based holder for most smart phones to be held in a horizontal position providing a ‘widescreen’ format game play allowing you to hold the controller while the controller holds your phone.
For tablets, simply keep the center area closed and link with your android tablet via bluetooth. Most tablet users have cases that hold up the tablet but in a pinch a lap is just as good.
The app that accompanies the MOGA unit is a free download and offers MOGA owners the ability to view and purchase available games. Our first concern was that you’d only be getting MOGA only games but quickly learned that some old and some new games were going to be available
“Gameloft, Atari, Namco Bandai, Sega, Remedy Entertainment and more have committed to developing games that will work with MOGA. New games, developers and publishers and game titles are coming on board each month. Gameloft, for example, has added MOGA support to key titles such as The Dark Knight Rises HD, Asphalt 7: Heat HD and Dungeon Hunter 3. Console developer Remedy’s critically acclaimed title Death Rally has also been enhanced to work with MOGA.”.
They team at PowerA is also pushing its MOGA SDK to mobile game developers so that future games can offer MOGA compatibility.
What do you pay for using a phone you already own? Yes, we said the same thing and asked the same question. The MOGA unit with it’s case and app cost you $49.99 and comes with two free games. After that you can purchase games through the MOGA Pivot App which we’ve been told will keep it’s MOGA enhanced games at the same price point you’re used to buying mobile games at.
It really comes down to choice, you can pay the same amount of money for a mobile game and drag your thumbs across the screen or you can use a controller and get a little more bang for your mobile gaming buck.
Initially the unit will ship with a soft case for storage but one of our first questions was to ask about a hard case option. We mentioned to the representatives that the military can be a little more ‘unique’ in its wear and tear and any game accessory that wants to earn a coveted pocket position with our downrange warfighters needs to be able to take a little more abuse. Well the good thing about PowerA’s focus is that they make cases for other items and I was happily told that there was already a hard case prototype and that it was only waiting to see how the MOGA did on release to determine if there was demand.
Here’s the official press release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MOGA™ To Finally Give Console Quality Control to Android Gamers On October 21
MOGA To Be Available at Key Retailers and Carriers for $49.99
Top Mobile Game Developers Added to Growing Library of MOGA Enhanced Titles
Woodinville, WA. – September 20, 2012 — PowerA today announced that MOGA™, the first and only complete mobile gaming system for Android devices, will be available in stores and at online retailers in the U.S. on October 21, 2012. The MOGA Mobile Gaming System will come with the free downloadable MOGA PivotTM App, and a soft case. Also, with the purchase of MOGA, consumers will get two free games, Sonic CDTMand PAC-MAN® by NAMCO as part of a limited time offer at leading retailers. MOGA will be available at key videogame and mobility retailers for a suggested retail price of $49.99 USD.
“Gamers are already walking around with phones with exceptional screens and fast chips,” said Eric Bensussen, president of PowerA. “For under $50, they can clip that phone into the MOGA controller and finally get console quality gaming experiences anywhere.”
MOGA has attracted support from top mobile developers and publishers who want to bring console-like precision and control to their Android phone and tablet based games. Top publishers such as Gameloft, Atari, Namco Bandai, Sega, Remedy Entertainment and more have committed to developing games that will work with MOGA. New games, developers and publishers and game titles are coming on board each month. Gameloft, for example, has added MOGA support to key titles such as The Dark Knight Rises HD, Asphalt 7: Heat HD and Dungeon Hunter 3. Console developer Remedy’s critically acclaimed title Death Rally has also been enhanced to work with MOGA.
“The MOGA SDK made it quick and easy to make our steering controls feel more precise and natural in Death Rally,” said Aki Järvilehto, SVP at Remedy Entertainment — creators of the Max Payne and Alan Wake console franchises. “Finally we have something that’s easy to use, simple to implement, and provides console-like controls that gamers have been yearning for.”
To empower this advance in mobile gaming, MOGA combines three key innovations into a single powerful system. The MOGA Controller is the first state-of-the-art, full-featured controller designed specifically for mobile devices. Pocket-sized, portable and connected via Bluetooth®, the MOGA Controller features the controls that console gamers and developers demand: dual analog sticks, two shoulder buttons, four action buttons and standardized start and select buttons. In addition, the MOGA SDK provides mobile game developers with greater precision, robust control and enhanced display abilities while enabling fast, efficient development of rich new game titles and MOGA enhancement of existing titles. Finally, the MOGA Pivot App enables gamers to easily browse, find and play a library of MOGA Enhanced games in one convenient location. MOGA Pivot App will be available free via Google Play.
The MOGA system will initially support Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) and higher mobile devices.
Developers: Contact PowerA at DevInfo@PowerA.com
We’re intrigued at what we saw at PAX and will be bringing you a full review when the unit becomes available.
We know mobile gaming is still a time killer between your regular gaming but do you think the MOGA is something that might change your mind about gaming on your mobile phone or tablet? We know military gamers are a unique community due to environmental and time challenges so hearing what you think is important.