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Credit: Product image courtesy of playbackbone.

If you would’ve told my high-school self that we would be able to play the latest Xbox and PlayStation games on our cellphones today, I’d start looking for the nearest time machine. The Backbone One takes this a step further by allowing you to snap your phone on its device so you get the comfort of an actual gaming controller when you play on your phone. Both the standard and PlayStation controllers are currently available for $69.99 (originally $99.99)—their best price yet after looking at price-checking tools.

While you can choose to get an Apple or Android controller (determined by the lightning or USB-C port), only the Apple one is discounted.

The Backbone One came out in the fall of 2023 with great reviews for its ability to stand out from other gimmicky mobile phone controllers. Previously, the biggest problems with these controllers was latency issues and just bad design, but the Backbone addresses those to make a product that can actually make it fun and comfortable to play games on your phone over your computer or TV.

Any iPhone over the S6 is compatible with the Backbone One. If you play on the PlayStation, you might as well get the PlayStation controller since it’ll be smoother than the Standard Backbone One and will feel like you’re playing on a PlayStation controller. You’ll need both the PlayStation app and the Backbone app installed on your phone to connect the Backbone. If you have your phone and gaming console on the same wifi network, you’ll have the best connection and the least lag. But as long as you have a good internet connection, you can log in and play from your phone (you’ll have to use your phone data if you’re not on wifi).

It doesn’t matter whether you think the Xbox or PlayStation is better; the fact that you’re able to stream both to your phone is a lot of fun. As things stand, this streaming-to-phone capability takes hand-held gaming systems to the next level.

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