Cell Gaming is on the upward thrust, with Spine and GamePass on the head

Gaming on a mobile device has grown massively since games on our iPhones became more complex than just ‘here’s a copy of Tetris with on-screen controls’. Now, you can play almost console-quality games natively on your device, using controllers that plug in to give you more solid input.

With Cloud gaming becoming a more widely accepted way to play games, mobile gaming is one of the largest sectors within the gaming landscape. At the forefront is this Backbone, a one-two-punch combo of iPhone app and iPhone controller. It’s created with not only mobile gaming but cloud gaming at its core, with the connected app linking up to Xbox’s GamePass Ultimate service. We spoke to Maneet Khaira, the founder and CEO of Backbone, to talk all about Backbone and mobile gaming.

Backbone is built for cloud gaming

Backbone one

(Image credit: Tammy Rogers/ iMore)

The Backbone One controller is an impressive piece of kit. The buttons are small and clicky, the triggers smooth and satisfying, and the analog sticks are comfortable. The controller took a lot of work to get right. Maneet tells me, “In total, we probably spent around two and a half years on the overall design and user experience, starting from the basic forms, just seeing what overall shape would make sense not just from an ergonomics perspective, but also from an industrial design perspective.”

Backbone One

(Image credit: Tammy Rogers/ iMore)

And it worked. The Backbone isn’t just functional, it’s an attractive controller to boot. It’s solid, and feels extremely well-made. It fits in the hand well, and the Xbox-layout analog sticks, while not to everyone’s taste, fit my use case almost perfectly. Maneet told me that the design was a collaborative effort with Astro Studios, the designers of the Xbox 360. Backbone doesn’t want to be just another third-party controller, it wants to be what all other mobile controllers are measured against.

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