The leaks were right – Logitech has a gamepad case for the iPhone and iPod touch, and it will be widely available in early December.
The PowerShell is part of the gaming-focused G Series, costs $99.99 and contains a standard directional pad; four main buttons, labeled A, B, X and Y; two trigger buttons; a dedicated pause button; and a 1500 mAh battery that charges the iPhone/iPod. It works with the iPhone 5 and 5s and the fifth-generation iPod touch on iOS 7.
Notice what’s missing from that list? Logitech said the case won’t work with the new iPhone 5c because the 5c is 0.4-1.37 mm bigger in all dimensions. In order to accommodate the iPod touch, which is 1.5 mm thinner than the phones, the case includes a removable sheet of padding.
Global product marketing manager Mark Starrett said Logitech has been working with Apple since before the official announcement of iOS 7’s third-party controller support at this year’s WWDC. That OS-level support means the accessory manufacturer has not had to work with developers to ensure their games’ compatibility, but is talking with a handful about marketing partnerships.
Logitech is not currently planning to make a comparable gamepad case for Android devices, even though Google has offered third-party controller support on its OS for much longer. With “four or five” competing standards, “Android is just a mess,” Starrett said.
Unlike the Moga Ace Power gamepad case, also unveiled this week, the PowerShell does not collapse for portability. The rigid case is designed to be used in landscape mode, with the home button pointing toward the user’s right hand.
At launch, about 300 games will work with the case, but they’ll be universal, meaning that PowerShell owners won’t have to download different versions of the apps for touch and non-touch gameplay. Starrett said Logitech has already tested dozens of those games with the PowerShell, and expects Apple to roll out a new section in the iOS App Store for gamepad-compatible games.