When I first showed pictures of Power A's MOGA to my compatriots, they thought it was a brand new gaming handheld. In a way, it is. MOGA is a complete mobile gaming system aimed at making today's console-quality smartphone games play like console games.
Mobile phone gaming controllers have come and gone, bulky add-ons proving more novelty than mobile gaming revolution. Accessory developers have been trying for years to develop a solution to the touch screen control issue, but up until now nothing has stuck.
How will MOGA be any different? Instead of just creating a controller and tossing it out into the wild, Power A has created, as I said, the complete mobile gaming system. It's not just an attractive dual-analog game pad that connects to your phone via Bluetooth. It's also a software development kit filled with tools to make developing for the system a breeze, as well as a specialised MOGA Pivot app that gathers games that can utilise the device into one convenient location. They've even got a full game pad for use with tablet devices, for those that prefer playing on a slightly bigger screen.
And games will support the device. They've already got Gameloft, MachineWorks, Namco Bandai, SEGA, Atari and Ratrod Studio Inc. on board, ready to deliver MOGA-ready versions of their top titles — N.O.V.A. 3, Six-Guns, Dungeon Hunter 3, Painkiller: Purgatory HD, Duke Nukem 3D, Sky Gamblers: Rise of Glory, PAC-MAN, Virtua Tennis Challenge, Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II, Atari's Greatest Hits (including Centipede, Asteroids and Battlezone) and Mike V: Skateboard Party should all be MOGA-ready by the end of the year.
From the pictures and description alone, I think MOGA could bridge the gap between mobile and console gaming. Giving developers access to a standard dual analogue controller with four face buttons and a pair of shoulder buttons and the tools to make them work could signal an end of mobile versions and the beginning of full-on phone ports.
Plus it gives Android device users something to crow about — MOGA will initially support Android 2.3+ mobile devices when it launches in the second half of 2012. Let's put some extra emphasis on initially there, as an iOS version can't be far behind.
Will MOGA change everything, or is it just another flash-in-the-pan mobile accessory? Check back with me after I see Power A at E3.