8Bitdo has shown off a new mobile controller - the Sn30 Pro - aimed squarely at the Xbox cloud gaming market, just in time for the launch of Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Project xCloud game streaming platform.
The not so excitingly titled Sn30 Pro is effectively a somewhat squashed down Xbox One controller, aimed at portability and practicality. Connected via Bluetooth with an optional place to slot your smartphone on top, the controller is compatible with all Android phones and tablets and is officially licensed as compatible with Microsoft Project xCloud.
It replicates the official controller with dual thumbsticks, rear-mounted bumpers and triggers, along with the ABXY button layout. The only key difference here is that it's a smaller size meaning larger hands may feel a little cramped when trying to fit comfortably alongside those all-important thumbsticks. Also, keen observers may note that the look of the Sn30 Pro is rather similar at first glance to the Sn30 Pro gamepad for the Nintendo Switch, with only a few key refinements along with a colour change. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, we're guessing.
In addition to the controller, you also get a mounting clip that means you can attach your controller to your phone, providing a more comfortable experience if you're on the move. It features a telescopic phone grip along with adjustable thumbscrews to get things as comfy as possible. Alternatively, 8Bitdo is also selling separate mounting clips for those that want to use their existing Xbox One controller.
The Sn30 Pro offers an 18 hour rechargeable battery life with the device charging over USB-C so it should recharge fairly speedily.
The Sn30 Pro is expected to launch on 21st September. There isn't an official date in mind yet for xCloud's launch other than sometime in September so it seems plausible that the dates could coincide. Project xCloud is Microsoft's bid to compete with the likes of Google Stadia and GeForce Now. The service is expected to become part of Xbox Game Pass meaning no matter where you are or what device you're using, you can play a number of Xbox games without being reliant on the capabilities of your hardware. In the past, Forza Horizon 4 has been demoed on an Android phone using the technology.
Potentially, a good quality controller could make all the difference here with players keen to stick to the controller they're used to rather than having to adapt to something new. Although, in that case, the mounting clip that 8Bitdo provides may be more appealing than a third-party controller solution. Whatever your view, keep an eye out for the 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro in September. We don't have a UK price yet but it's expected to retail for $45 so expect similar over here.
April 16 2021 | 18:20