Here’s the first PlayStation mobile gaming device in years – a special Backbone One for iPhone – Okibata

Meet Backbone One: PlayStation Edition. It’s not a next-gen PSP, but it’s the first handheld product from PlayStation since the PS Vita was discontinued in 2019.

Ever since I reviewed Spine One and named it the best iPhone game controller for its sleek, user-friendly design with tactile buttons and a great companion app, the company’s popularity has skyrocketed.

In fact, it caught the attention of PlayStation, who have been working with Backbone for the past few months to help develop this unique release.

Naturally, this is a big problem that seems unprecedented. Why is PlayStation partnering with Backbone to create a handheld controller? Let me explain.

Just a fresh coat of paint

(Image credit: future)

Some things change and others remain the same. It’s identical in shape and form factor to the traditional Backbone One, from the button layout to the lightning holes and 3.5mm jacks.

Down to the mounting bracket required for iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max (thanks to the powerful camera bump). But thanks to the partnership, there is a complete aesthetic overhaul inspired by the PS5.

Backbone One: PlayStation Edition

(Image credit: future)

The same elegant white finish on the console and accessories. The same transparent face buttons with floating iconography. Every part of it is designed to fit perfectly into your current setup, along with your headset and the Pulse 3D headset. Unfortunately, the PS button texture on the back of the DualSense controller is not on the Backbone.

You will also find a hidden PS mark when the sliding clamp mechanism is extended. This is a great addition to some of the hardware of any PlayStation gamer.

Backbone One: PlayStation Edition

(Image credit: future)

New state of affairs?

What’s new he brings to the table? To be honest (so far), not that much.

There are some interesting new features coming from Backbone’s continuous work to improve the app: PlayStation games have become a little more visible in the menu and they will automatically open in the PS Remote Play app with a nice little animation.

Backbone One: PlayStation Edition

(Image credit: future)

Along with that, Backbone made an update that I’m so glad to see that is offline. I wanted to be able to access the app and maybe fiddle with in-game snapshots or change some settings before a long gaming session on the road.

Previously, you had to plug in a controller and hold your phone horizontally. Now I can just use my phone normally without the tablet attached. It’s really helpful!

reverse application

(Image credit: future)

While these two small updates are cool, they are just small developments. Plus, it works exactly like a traditional Backbone One and works in all the same games.

But to say it’s the same controller with PS face buttons instead of an ABXY setup is to miss the writing on the wall.


Backbone One: PlayStation Edition

(Image credit: future)

You see, the most exciting part of PlayStation’s Backbone One is not what it does now, but what it represents for the future.

Xbox kicks PlayStation’s ass when it comes to cloud gaming. In the latter case, you’re either stuck with Remote Play, which requires your console to be on, or streaming a number of games. As for the former, almost everything can be streamed anywhere on any device.

So, with the competition so far ahead, let’s ask ourselves again: why is PlayStation teaming up with Backbone and making a handheld controller? Is this really only for remote gaming, or can we expect some major cloud gaming related developments in the near future?

By collecting coins, my money is on PS Plus, allowing you to stream all games wherever you are. I’d love to know what you think – tell us on Twitter!

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