On the heels of the launch of the first cloud-focused console, Turtle Beach Announces Dedicated game console for Android phones. the new Turtle Beach Atom It focuses on mobile gaming and cloud streaming, as it is only included for Android phones. The left and right halves of the Atom attach to the phone via clips and connect to it via Bluetooth 4.2, saving you the trouble of having to remove your phone case every time you want to play.
The $99.99 Android controller is Available for pre-order now It is slated for release on November 14 in three colours: red, black, teal, black and yellow. The latter is officially licensed by Xbox, complete with a branded guide button and one month of Xbox Game Pass included for new users. These aren’t exactly the colors I think of when I think of the Xbox, but they definitely fit the atom’s slightly garish-looking vibe.
Turtle Beach claims that the Atom uses full-size sticks and buttons for a console-like experience, although one thing to keep in mind is that these smartphone controllers are typically designed for portability. The Atom looks a little lumpy, though it does try to get around this by flipping its sides to connect them together magnetically – making a package a bit smaller than if they slid together like a workhorse or a Razer Kishi.
These competitors seem to be exactly what Turtle Beach is after, as their pricing is similar, although Turtle Beach certainly does things a little differently with its split design. On the one hand, the Atom is completely wireless; Not only does it connect to your phone via Bluetooth, but the two halves of the console also connect to each other via a 2.4GHz wireless network. Since it’s not actually plugged into your phone, there is no chance of cross-charging. The Atom has its own rechargeable battery (two, in fact, one in each half) that charges via USB-C. Turtle Beach claims it should last up to 20 hours and fully recharge in 2.5 hours, although the phone will likely need to be recharged during the extended gaming session before the Atom.
Aside from playing Android games, Atom is designed for cloud gaming and live streaming with services like Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Steam Link. Turtle Beach doesn’t mention PlayStation compatibility, so it likely won’t work with Remote Play from PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4. The Atom also doesn’t work with iPhones at all, which is unfortunate because Apple has been playing well with Bluetooth controllers from Microsoft and Sony . These are the features that Backbone One seems to continue to take advantage of. However, like Backbone, Turtle Beach will have its own companion app for working with the Atom, which allows you to configure features and search for games.
While the big game and tech companies are still discovering cloud gaming, Turtle Beach seems to be taking the gun approach between Recon Cloud and Atom – trying to satisfy as many playstyles as possible. This is, of course, with the glaring omission of anyone who uses an iPhone or wants to stream their PlayStation consoles via Remote Play.
The Atom seems like Turtle Beach’s logical advance after Recon Cloud, though now that it’s trying to gain a pound with Backbone One and Razer Kishi, the stakes look a little higher.
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