RIOTPWR Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) review

Platform: iOS
Publisher: RIOTPWR

As the threat of COVID-19 is deemed less substantial, society at large is returning to their old ways. Gamers who find themselves out of the home will inevitably need a way to keep up with their dailies (If you haven?t noticed my news coverage activity, I play Genshin Impact?alot). While dragging a console is a viable option, console makers offer remote access software which means anyone with a relatively modern tablet. Touch controls are not exactly the best option for long play sessions, so it is refreshing that companies like RIOTPWR offer a viable option to take the home console experience on the go with their Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition).

The Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) or CGC mirrors your standard Xbox controller layout with an additional ?share? button that is parallel to the D-pad. The grip has a textured surface which enables an enhanced grip. The D-pad feels like it utilizes microswitches as a ?click? can be heard when pressed, fireball motions are done quite easily, while dragon punch motions are somewhat spotty. However this might not be completely the controllers fault as the fighting games used to test these motions were played on cloud-based apps. The face and shoulder buttons/triggers depress smoothly and I certainly do not have any qualms about them.

Usage is rather simple, just plug the controller into the Lightning Port of the device, and on initial use IOS will prompt the user to install RIOTPWR?s management app, LUDU MAPP. The app is bloated with ads for other RIOTPWR products and offers for partner software. In terms of relevant features, there?s compatible app discovery, configuration settings for the share button, access to the product manual, a controller testing suite and a firmware upgrade utility..
The controller optionally allows you to mount your phone for playing on the go. The mounting clip can support a base iPhone to the larger Max models. It can accommodate phones with thin cases, but for any case that increases your phone?s height past ? inch I would strongly advise against using lest you risk your phone slipping out of the clip?s spring loaded grip. The clip has hooks which acts as a cable management tool ensuring no dangling wire that could interfere with play. It can also be removed leaving the controller with its modest profile.

The CGC has a lot of pluses, but it has a negative that will amplify as time marches on. Earlier in the year the European Parliament passed a ?Common Charger? Law mandating that all mobile phone manufacturers conform to one type of port (USB-C) for devices moving forward. While the mandate goes into effect in 2024, Apple already has taken steps into conforming globally. Of all the iPad models, only the iPad 9 still utilizes the Lightning Port and there are rumors abound that next year?s iPhone will finally switch over to USB-C. This move seriously hampers the device compatibility this controller has. My attempt to use a Lightning to USB-C adapter to try to make use of the controller on a iPad Pro (Gen5) yielded no results. RIOTPWR can absolutely mitigate the issue by issuing an adapter or even making recommendations on an appropriate adapter.

Cost is also another sticking point. Retailing at $69.99 it?s pricing is comparable to Sony?s DualSense and higher than most of Xbox?s Core controllers. The latter two controllers can also connect with IOS devices as of IOS13. If you?re already a gamer absolutely that needs to game wherever you go, surely you will have a spare of this or other older and also compatible controllers (DualShock 4, newer Xbox One controllers). Yes, the CGC does come with 1 free month of Xbox Ultimate Game Pass service (a $14.99 value), but the offer is only valid for new members of the service, thus rendering it useless for the majority of hardcore Xbox fans. Short of its removable mount, cable passthrough and direct share button, the CGC doesn?t really offer features that would deter you from getting something that can also be used on consoles and PC.

The RIOTPWR Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) is quite an anomaly, hardware wise it stands toe to toe with other controllers out there, but a singular design choice paired with its price point prevents me from fully recommending it. That said if you happen to see it underneath your Christmas Tree (or wherever religious/non-religious gift exchanges) this holiday, don?t fret you?re still getting a very competent controller?just you don?t get any new IOS hardware anytime soon if you want to keep getting use out of it.

RIOTPWR provided us with a Cloud Gaming Controller for iOS (Xbox Edition) for evaluation purposes.