Every CES puts the most prominent tech trends on show, and CES 2012 was no exception, though some were a bit more visible than others. After the unveiling of arcade-style attachments for smartphones and tablets, a no-glasses 3D tablet with an attachable controller, and a tablet aimed at the hardcore gaming crowd, it became pretty clear that one of these trends is to bridge the gap between high-quality console games and smart devices. However, none of these new devices have appeared quite as portable as the Ion Controller from SteelSeries, which connects through Bluetooth and is about the size of a deck of cards.
SteelSeries' Ion Controller is almost as compact as a typical smartphone, but don't let the size fool you; the controller still has as much functionality as your typical console controller. A rechargeable lithium battery allows for 20 hours of wireless use through Bluetooth and can be plugged into a PC, tablet, or smartphone for continuous play. It also has the standard dual joysticks, directional pad, 2 shoulder buttons, and six customizable buttons on the front. Software for certain devices can also be used to completely remap the buttons to fit a person's liking. SteelSeries hopes the controller will help boost sales of mobile games that are difficult to play through just a touch screen, like first-person shooters or real-time strategy games.
The SteelSeries Ion Controller is set to be released in Q3 of this year with pricing to be announced closer to its release.