LAS VEGAS – Old school video game controllers might seem chunky, but nostalgia is bringing them back to the market.
GameSir and Gamevice created two phone attachments to let players finally put that muscle memory to use on a traditional controller with a D-pad, action buttons, and dual joysticks.
The mobile gaming industry hit an estimated $108.9 billion last year, but tiny touch screens and thumbs aren’t often the best combination for fast-paced action games. Thus, the China-based GameSir and Los Angeles-based Gamevice are competing to bring together the best of both worlds: the portability of mobile gaming and the ergonomics of controllers.
But the two companies differ in their design. GameSir is built just like a regular controller, with a dual-angled phone clip and vibrating feature so players can feel every punch and crash in the game. Gamevice is constructed as two lightweight attachments connected by a smaller, foldable panel that hugs your device.
GameSir’s battery lasts for about 18 hours, recharging in two to four hours via microUSB cables. On the other hand. Gamevice has no battery; in fact, it can actually charge the phone as it’s playing.
Currently, the most popular GameSir model, the G4s, goes for $49.99 and works with Android, Windows, Steam, Samsung Gear VR, and PlayStation 3. An iOS compatible version won’t roll out until mid-2018.
Unlike the versatile GameSir, Gamevice is strictly for mobile devices, but already boasts compatibility with iPhones, iPads, and Samsung Galaxy S7 and above. Phone attachments run for $79.95 and tablet attachments for $99.95.
Each gadget works with over a thousand games across platforms.