It's no secret that iOS mobile gaming leaves us wanting when it comes to physical controls. Fortunately, at CES 2013, iFrogz is out to fill that void with the Caliber Advantage iPhone case-gone-console. The Caliber Advantage, an iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch accessory, uses Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to the corresponding enabled application rather than the phone itself. iFrogz mentions that a deal with Epic Games and Chair Entertainment to build the basis for the Caliber software powered by the Unreal Engine is in the works. In fact, later this April the company will host its own developer conference aimed at seriously expanding the platform and hopefully adding support for previously released titles.
Marrying a case with a full-fledged controller certainly adds some bulk, but after handling the prototype, the approximate half inch of added girth honestly didn't incite any ill feelings. The chassis, while clearly heavy on the plastic, felt more sturdy than anticipated, and fairly natural to our hands. As for the buttons? Crisp and responsive, hard though that may be to believe. The unit is set to retail at $70, and curious iOS gamers can feel free to take a closer look in the gallery below.
Kevin Wong contributed to this report.
iFrogz Caliber Advantage hands-on at CES 2013
iFrogz(R) Introduces Mobile Gaming Controller for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch at CES 2013
SALT LAKE CITY, Jan 08, 2013 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- iFrogz(R), a ZAGG Inc brand specializing in creative mobile accessories, will unveil the Caliber Advantage(TM) mobile gaming controller at a special invitation-only event held during CES 2013. The event will include a product introduction from ZAGG, as well as a live demonstration.
Mobile gaming on the iPhone or iPod touch takes a big leap forward with the iFrogz Caliber Advantage, a tactile, analog game controller that directly attaches to the mobile device. The Caliber Advantage controls the action via the device's Bluetooth(R) connection, providing the lightning-fast response needed for today's mobile gaming. The dual slide-out analog controls of the gaming handset feature tactile, responsive keys, for a tight and accurate gaming experience. The Caliber Advantage incorporates the accelerometer features of the iPhone while adding all of the benefits of a traditional gaming controller.
"This is an exceptional opportunity for ZAGG to step into the gaming arena by collaborating with some of the most respected names in the industry," said Kent Wuthrich, executive vice president of marketing for ZAGG, which manufactures and markets iFrogz products. "The Caliber Advantage is a game-changer for the mobile platform. Everyone from hardcore gamers to casual players will enjoy and appreciate the control and function of the Caliber Advantage. We are committed to bringing creative product solutions to gaming with not only this revolutionary gaming controller, but also a full line-up of gaming-specific audio products."
The Caliber Advantage utilizes technology that is specifically optimized for games developed by industry leaders such as Epic Games and Epic's ChAIR Entertainment for the ultimate gaming experience.
"We are thrilled to collaborate with iFrogz to fully integrate the new Caliber Advantage for use with Unreal Engine 3," said Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games. "The coupling of our world-class technology with iFrogz' innovative iOS controller provides endless opportunities for exciting new gaming experiences from developers around the globe."
The iFrogz Caliber Advantage gaming handset will retail for $69.99 and will be sold online at iFrogz.com and through select retail partners. The Caliber Advantage will become available for purchase in the first half of 2013.
Industry-leading developers will have the ability to easily integrate new and existing game titles with the Caliber Advantage's proprietary SDK. In addition, iFrogz will hold a developer's conference this spring, featuring tutorials and workshops for the Caliber Advantage platform. For more development information, go to caliberseries.com/developers.
The Caliber gaming accessories line from iFrogz was first introduced in August 2012 with three gaming headsets: the Stealth, Axiom and Vanguard. At CES 2013, iFrogz will add two new gaming headsets, the Universe and the Ammo. The Caliber headsets are designed to provide amazing design and sound quality for a premium mobile, desktop or console gaming experience.
iFrogz, a ZAGG brand, creates digital audio and mobile phone accessories for the iPod, iPhone, iPad and other consumer electronics. iFrogz specializes in creative, value-priced mobile accessories. Its products include headphones, earbuds, cases, portable speakers, and soon, complete lines of accessories for gamers and children. iFrogz is a wholly owned subsidiary of ZAGG Inc.
Learn about the iFrogz Caliber gaming line at caliberseries.com.