CES 2013: Hands On with the PowerA MOGA Pro
Thanks to powerful platforms like Tegra 3 (and Tegra 4) and Snapdragon, gaming on an Android device has never been better. The graphics quality has nowhere to go but up, and an ever-growing library of titles – both console ports and mobile originals – means there is no shortage of fun to be had. The biggest hurdle for gaming on the phone was the interface, as many titles simply can’t be played effectively without additional controls. PowerA addressed this issue last fall with the MOGA controller, a pocket-sized Bluetooth gamepad that made playing shooters, racers and RPGs on the phone a more enjoyable experience.
While fans seem to appreciate the size of the original MOGA, feedback to PowerA has called for a larger, more complete controller. While PowerA isn’t getting rid of the original MOGA anytime soon, a new, larger gamepad is about to hit store shelves.
The MOGA Pro is due out this spring, and it’s taken everything you like about the MOGA and made it bigger. The Pro is a full-sized controller – about the same size as an Xbox 360 controller – complete with four shoulder buttons and full-size analog joysticks. It’s not pocket-friendly by any means, but it will fit in whatever bag you use for your tablet without a problem.
I tried the MOGA Pro with a Samsung Galaxy Note II clipped in (the clip is the same design as the original MOGA, by the way), and I was surprised by how light the entire contraption was. Phone and controller in hand felt like a 3DS, so the entire setup won’t be straining any wrists. While the original MOGA does an admirable job with shooters and the like, the MOGA Pro is a step up in every area, size and weight aside. Most of my gaming time was spent on Dead Trigger (by Madfinger Games) and using the joysticks was similar to any console experience worth its salt. the triggers are responsive, as are the action buttons, and there’s no flimsiness in the execution. Credit where credit is due: PowerA managed to make a lightweight controller that doesn’t feel cheap.
The MOGA Pro works with the same software and hardware as its little brother, so Android phones with 2.3 or newer, and identical game support. Developers with titles already supported by the original MOGA can choose to include a button scheme that accounts for the two extra triggers in the Pro, too.
There’s no price info for the Pro yet, but with the original MOGA at $50, a good guess might be $65-$75. Whatever the price, the Pro will include a collapsible stand for larger tablets. Expect the MOGA Pro in Toys R Us, Best Buy, and various wireless carrier stores this Spring.
Game Front was on-site at CES 2013 (January 8-11), covering all the latest gaming gadgets. Check out all of our CES 2013 news, previews and features.