Enjoy cloud based Xbox gaming on your iPad
Get out, enjoy the world, and enjoy a portable modern Xbox cloud-based gaming, Stadia, GeForce now, Amazon Luna, Apple App Store, and Apple Arcade experience. Connect the iPad directly to the controller via lightning cable and keep your iPad charged with pass-through charging. Experience comfortable ergonomic hand grips, reactive dual thumbsticks, and reactive, low-latency connection.
- Ease of Use
Gamevice controller brings console gaming to the iPad.
I have been a fan of mobile gaming since the original GameBoy and loved the loophole to the adage “why don’t you go outside and play.” Instead of sitting inside the home and in front of a television, the system allowed portable on-the-go entertainment. As the tech expanded, I upgraded with each generation and settled most recently with the Nintendo Switch.
Beyond Nintendo consoles, I enjoyed the PS Vita and GameGear, and as phone gaming became a reality, I moved through Nokia, Android, and ultimately iPhone/iPad gaming. It was only a matter of time before the console wars spilled into the phone market. Thanks to controllers like the Gamevice, you can pair an iPad with a console-style controller to enjoy a pseudo-console experience on the go.
The GAMEVICE for IPad arrived in a 14 1/2 inches wide by 6 1/2 inches tall by 2 9/16 inches thick retail package. Atop the cover panel, you will find the company name, logo, and support information for iPad generations five through nine in skinny black font. At the top right of the panel, you will find “Mobile” in Xbox green font, while the bottom corners provided XBOX-specific logos.
The main showcase was the large, slightly-raised, glossy image of a gamified iPad at the center of the panel. The colorful iPad was edged by dual black controllers and accented with a soft grey posterior shadow. The controllers showed dual analog thumb sticks, an analog D-pad, and YXAB buttons. The clean white background served as a nice backdrop for the main image.
The top panel displayed the company name and logo, while the left side panel listed five product-specific features: 1. Low-Latency Direct Connection. 2. Ergonomic Handheld Design. 3. Analog Triggers and Console Level controls. 4. Cloud and Mobile Gaming Compatible. 5. 3.5mm Audio Headphone Jack. The right side panel provided information about the included XBOX Game Pass and 1-month Ultimate membership (FOR NEW MEMBERS ONLY).
The front panel listed the product contents (GAMEVICE for IPad and user manual), product requirements (iPad OS 14 or later, iPad 5th-9th generation, lightning only connection, internet connection for Apps, Does not work with all games), information about the GAMEVICE Live App for games, trademark information, GV153 model number, product manufacturing labels, and an SKU barcode.
The rear panel provided three helpful, photo-quality images of the GAMEVICE device. The top image displayed the left-hand controller from a lateral perspective and demonstrated the analog stick, shoulder bumpers, and ergonomic grip. The lower left image showed a top-down view of the iPad cradle and dual controllers, while the lower right image showed the lighting connector, right analog stick, and a bottom to top view of the right controller.
The right edge of the panel provided nearly the same product features as the left side panel but also mentioned lightning pass-through charging. The lower section recommended downloading the GAMEVICE live companion app from the App Store, reviewed the compatible iPad devices, and provided a list of the features in German, Italian, Spanish, and three character languages that I could not identify.
I removed the packaging lid and was greeted by a large shiny 11.2-ounce controller nestled within a white plastic cutout. I lifted the controller out of the box and reviewed the components. The left controller measured 2 7/8 inches wide at the top by 2 1/4 inches wide at the bottom and was 5 9/16 inches tall.
The rounded edge of the controller tapered nicely from the top end to the bottom end and extended toward the back for a comfortable grip surface. The controller measured 1 7/8 inches thick at the grip and 3/8 inches thick at the iPad connector edge. The top segment of the grip had ergonomic L1 and L2 shoulder buttons just above a cutout for the left middle finger.
The top surface of the controller provided a 1/2 inches diameter analog stick at the top left and a 3/8 inches diameter dome-shaped button with three circles. Just below the analog stick and dome buttons, you will find a 1-inch by 1-inch d-pad and then a 3/8 inches diameter home button 1/2 inches below the d-pad. The inner surface of the controller segment had a 3 7/16 inches tall by 1/8 inches thick rubberized backing surface and was attached to the square iPad compatible notch.
The right controller measured 2 7/8 inches wide at the top by 2 1/4 inches wide at the bottom and also measured 5 9/16 inches tall. Like the left controller, the right-sided controller tapered from the top to the bottom and around to the back. The device measured 1 7/8 inches thick at the grip segment and 3/8 inches thick at the iPad connector edge.
Just like the left controller, the right side had an R1/R2 shoulder button, a middle finger cutout, and a comfortable plastic hand grip. The controller’s surface provided a 1/2 inches diameter analog stick along the right upper edge, and a 3/8 inches dome-shaped button with three horizontal lines. Located between the aforementioned buttons, you will find four 3/8 inches diameter buttons (Y, X, B, A) arranged into a D-pad shape.
The lower/front edge of the controller had a lightning input port and a 3.5mm audio output port. The inner surface of the iPad connector provided a lightning prong for the iPad, and a posterior 3 7/16 inches tall by 1/8 inches thick rubberized backing that connected to the other controller (8 1/2 inches wide).
To install the GAMEVICE device, I slid the lightning prong into the base of my daughter’s iPad 6th generation (A1893) and pulled the controllers apart. The backing will expand from the 8 1/2 inches wide resting width to 9 1/2 inches wide to accommodate the iPad. Once the lateral pressure is reduced, the device will tension back down to the resting width.
Before you dispose of the outer packaging, make sure to remove the small cardboard accessory box resting within the plastic shell. The box contained a small instructional manual and instructions for the posterior rubber spacers. Apparently, the device will accommodate the iPad Air 2/3 iPad Pro 9.7/10.5 inch with the spacers adjacent to the controllers and the iPad 5th through 9th generations if the spacers were placed at the center.
The spacers served to enhance the grip with the thinner iPad and reduced the wiggle between the iPad and controller. Once I plugged the device into the iPad, a notification appeared on the screen informing me that the device was not supported and that I needed to download the App.
I navigated to the iOS App Store, selected the 2* Gamevice Live App, and perused the preview, ratings/reviews, and the descriptive paragraph. When I activated the App, it took me to a main GAME PASS Ultimate screen and provided a place to input my email address. Please note that this setup only works for “NEW SUBSCRIBERS” and will not add a month to those already enrolled.
I was a bit surprised that it would not offer a free month to everyone but also understood the goal of increased subscriptions as the means to make money. I thus selected “skip” and went to the second screen. From the main App panel, you can select one of the seven icons along the left panel: 1. House icon=Featured. 2. Xbox icon. 3. GeForce now Icon. 4. Apple Arcade Icon. 5. Stadia Icon. 6. Apple Store Icon. 7. Support (FAQ/Terms/Contact Us).
I tapped the Xbox icon, and then tapped one of the listed games. The App provided a video preview of the game (Jedi Fallen Order), allowed me to “Add to Favorites,” provided a written summary, and instructions on “How to Play.” I tapped the “How to Play,” navigated to Safari, selected Xbox Cloud Gaming on Xbox.com, signed into my account, then shared the icon to my Home Screen. I launched the Xbox Cloud Gaming App, signed in again to my account, and then enjoyed some portable Xbox fun. I returned to the Feature option, tapped Fortnite, and found the same instructions. I downloaded Call of Duty Mobile, Minecraft, and Diablo Immortal and enjoyed the method that the Gamevice App linked to the App Store for downloads.
I followed the above instructions, downloaded the Cloud Gaming App, and decided to dive into some classic TMNT Shredders Revenge nostalgia and some Ninja Gaiden 2 action. I loved the control layout, the placement of the analog sticks, the D-pad, the YXBA buttons, the shoulder buttons, and the grip of the controller. In fact, the overall experience felt amazingly like the Nintendo Switch but with a bigger screen and a markedly more comfortable grip.
If you have used the Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, then you likely have experienced cramping and some mild discomfort in the wrists/forearms. The rounded grip melded well with my hand and created a truly comfortable experience. Interestingly, it felt very similar to the Meta Quest 2 handgrips. The iPad utility was more enjoyable than expected; I liked the ability to play Xbox games and the option to rack up achievement points as well. I used an iPad 6th generation for most of the testing but then found that I was able to use my younger daughter’s iPad Air 2.
I tested a variety of Apple Apps, including Contra Returns, Diablo Immortal, and Call of Duty Mobile. I quickly found the Call of Duty Mobile game to be worthy of several replays and marathon sessions. I do not have Apple Arcade, Nvidia, or Stadia accounts and did not download any games from those services. I did utilize the Featured tab and the Xbox tab to review options for Fortnite, Dragonball Fighter Z, Terarria, and Star Wars Squadrons.
Of all of the games that I tested, TMNT: Shredders Revenge proved to be my favorite. I easily navigated the starting level, beat the foot clan, and then faced off against Bebop with Splinter. I tried the level with Donatello, with Raphael and found Splinter to be my favorite. I compared the game on the Xbox/TV to that of the iPad Gamevice controller and felt the handheld mode to be superior.
Despite the positives, there were a few counterarguments to make. First, the device does not have an included carry case and does not assume a more portable position. The retention straps and spacers provided improved fit with the iPad and ensured a comfortable, fun, portable experience. However, once the iPad was removed, the Gamevice device did not shrink down further.
The two controllers, unlike the smaller switch controllers that slide onto the screen, remain permanently affixed to the backing rubber strap. If placed into a bag, you risk damage to the analog triggers and possible development of drift. Next, some may consider the ~$100 price to be a bit too steep. When you compare the cost of some of the console controllers, or to some of the modern console games, a one-time ~$100 fee for the controller is much more palatable.
Additionally, for those on the fence, the included 1-month new member GamePass deal will sweeten the pot. Furthermore, the website provides links to a one-month free Stadia, apple Arcade, and Luna.