Last week in advance of its E3 2012 debut, Power A's MOGA mobile gaming system is a complete controller solution for mobile phone gamers and game developers. After a brief demonstration at Power A's booth earlier today, I'm convinced they've got a better way to play mobile games on their hands, or in ours.
For the smartphone user (Android, at the moment) the MOGA is a sleek little plastic controller with a clip that holds their device in horizontal orientation. It's got four face buttons, two analogue sliders, a pair of shoulder buttons, star, select and sync. While the final finish of the product is still being fooled with, a pair of contoured rubberised grips is a certainty, making the unit easier to handle and more confortable than several dedicated gaming handhelds I could mention.
It's also the MOGA pivot app, a convenient free app that walks users through syncing the device to their phone via Bluetooth and then presents them with a list of games supporting the device, a list that's certain to grow far beyond the initial list judging by strong developer reaction since our original story ran.
Users will be able to browse and buy games specifically designed to take advantage of the unit. Games like Sega's Virtua Tennis Challenge, seen here performing wonderfully with the MOGA unit.
While the video shows Power A's man walking me through the experience, I soon took matters into my own hands, and damn if it didn't feel like I was playing a game on some brand-new flip-screen gaming handheld.
The controls were quick and responsive, just as one would expect from a 3DS or PS Vita game. I could play with true precision and confidence. But most of all I could see the whole screen, unobstructed by my giant meaty hands. I've played this game before, but I've never seen so much of it at once.
Touch screens are lovely, and there are plenty of games that work just fine on them, but as phones get more powerful they become capable of containing experiences that rival or even surpass those of dedicated gaming machines. The difference is that those dedicated gaming machines, for the most part, don't require players to suffer through imprecise touch controls that eat up a great deal of screen real estate.
Now that I've played with it, I feel MOGA is the key to blurring the boundaries even further.
Of course there are obstacles. Certain hardware companies might be so sold on the touch screen idea that they're hesitant to allow the integration of such a product. Perhaps it's time they started thinking outside the screen.
Maybe it's time I took a trip back to Android territory myself. I love my apps, but I love forward thinking more.