The explosive growth in the mobile gaming market has legitimately challenged handheld consoles and rapidly become a huge money-maker for publishers. From iconic core games from the past such as Max Payne to newer classics like Hearthstone, there is something to suit everyone. While a huge proportion of games on the Android Play Store and App Store are very basic, there is a huge scope for visually demanding titles in the future. Unlike the console sector, mobile technology is constantly being improved upon and handsets could feature 6GB RAM in the next few years.
Touch-screen controls can produce a wonderful tactile experience and certainly expanded mobile gaming’s appeal with a casual audience. Despite this, many games desperately need a controller as the touch-control scheme is counter-intuitive and overly complicated. Thankfully, Thermaltake has you covered with the TT eSports Contour controller which utilizes Bluetooth and connects to any Apple device. Additionally, the Contour’s battery life is rated beyond 10 hours with a single charge and contains a rather nifty stand. The stand is able to transform an iPhone into a bonafide handheld gaming device. The question is, how does it feel in the hand?
Packaging & Accessories
The TT eSports Contour comes in an aesthetically pleasing red and black box which contains a clear section to view the product. Furthermore, the styling fits with Thermaltake’s gaming theme and the box’s size provides ample protection while making the internals easy to remove.
In terms of accessories, the Contour is fairly barebones and only bundled with a charging cable and user manual. This isn’t necessarily a negative point, as it cuts down on clutter and uses more environmentally friendly packaging.
A Closer Look
Here we can see the controller’s build quality and subtle Thermaltake logo which adds some flair without being too extravagant. The device’s layout is excellent and each button is positioned perfectly within a finger’s reach. Notice the extremely soft thumbsticks which feel lovely and a complete joy to use. In this closed position, the Contour looks like a regular controller and can be used with any model of iPad.
From this angle, we can see the four rear-triggers, USB connector and contoured design. Unfortunately, the L1 and R1 buttons are quite mushy and don’t leave a good first impression.
The controller houses both power and Bluetooth connectivity buttons which allow for fast pairing and virtually instant power states. I found it remarkably easy to press these dedicated buttons and felt it was more intuitive than using the Xbox’s traditional Guide function.
The back portion contains basic product identification and a clasp for lifting the integrated stand. On another note, the plastic feels rather sturdy and evokes a sense of confidence in the overall build quality.
Thermaltake decided to opt for an adjustable stand which exceeds 3.75 inches in height. As a result, most modern iPhones should fit without applying too much force. To test this, I even tried my aging iPhone 3G which just about slotted into position. Initially, I was concerned that the large degree of adjustment would lead to a fairly weak mechanism. Thankfully, this isn’t the case, and every phone I tried didn’t move at all after the initial setup.