The SteelSeries Free Mobile Gaming Controller (announced at CES as the Ion), for instance, is one of the smallest dual-analog gamepads we've ever palmed -- and it doesn't sacrifice much for its diminutive size, either. The $80 Bluetooth controller's PlayStation-esque layout falls naturally below the users thumbs, and feels remarkably uncramped for its size. Its jutting lower edge can dig into the users palm a little, but acts as a solid brace to keep the tiny controller in place. Moreover, the ergonomic hiccup is forgivable once one slides the pad into a pocket - weighing almost nothing and comfortably sharing pant-space with the HTC One X.
If you prefer skinny jeans, or just have a tighter wallet, SteelSeries offers an even smaller tactile solution: Free Touchscreen Controls. These little capacitive transference nubs simply stick to the front of your touchscreen device and touch the screen for you, offering an easily removable simulation of a real controller. As we said before, this isn't a new idea, but it's well executed, and felt about as close to a real controller as any tiny nub could. The $20 set comes with three stick-on buttons and a suction-secured directional slider -- though the latter was unfortunately absent from our demo. The above controller, however? You can see it in all its analog glory in the video below.