The Xbox 360 pad stands out as the reigning champion for the most popular controller on Steam, however Steelseries have simply introduced a brand new challenger to that title within the type of their twin wi-fi Stratus Duo. Priced at £60 / $60, the Stratus Duo comes with help for Bluetooth 4.1 and the same old 2.4GHz wi-fi so you need to use it together with your PC and Android telephone alike, in addition to mobile-based VR headsets together with the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go.
You can change between the Stratus Duo’s two wi-fi modes by flicking a small change on the highest edge subsequent to the shoulder buttons. You don’t have to put in any further software program resembling Steelseries’ Engine app to set it up, both, however naturally you’ll need to plug in its USB adapter to make use of it over its 2.4GHz wi-fi connection.
You also can keep it up enjoying whereas charging the controller up over USB, which you will be doing pretty often contemplating its battery life solely lasts round 20 hours or so, going by Steelseries official figures. That’s half of what you’ll be able to handle on Steelseries’ present Stratus XL wi-fi controller, and ten hours lower than your typical Xbox One pad.
Still, right here’s hoping the Stratus Duo’s improved triggers and analog joysticks may make up for its considerably stingy battery life. The former have been redesigned because the Stratus XL and now function one thing referred to as Magnetic Hall Effect sensors, which is supposed to enhance every set off’s response time, consistency and total precision. The latter, in the meantime, are supposed to have even smaller lifeless zones (the bit on the centre of a joystick that’s typically thought of its default place) than earlier than, permitting for higher ranges of management.
Since it’s additionally appropriate with Android 3.1 telephones and above, a separate grip may also be out there in mid-February that clamps onto the highest of the controller so you need to use it for cellular games as nicely. This will price an additional $10 (UK pricing to be confirmed) on prime of the controller.
Of course, it’s arduous to inform from photos alone what the Stratus Duo will really feel like as soon as it’s in your arms, nevertheless it undoubtedly appears to be like like it will likely be much more snug / ergonomic than the Stratus XL and its quick, stubby arm grips. Will it be capable of beat the mighty Xbox 360 / Xbox One pads, although? Hopefully, I received’t have to attend too lengthy to seek out out, as I ought to be getting one in for evaluation very shortly. Watch this area.