Backbone One PlayStation Edition
Controller and app let you bring games everywhere you go.
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Backbone One PlayStation Edition
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Backbone One PlayStation Edition is a controller and app driven device that allows gamers to play App Store, Apple Arcade, PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, Stadia, Amazon Luna, and Nvidia Geforce Now titles on an iPhone via remote or cloud-based play. The controller snaps around the phone, removing the need to block the onscreen display with virtual controls, while also giving analog sticks and buttons to interact with your games. Players can capture screenshots or capture video footage from their game sessions to share with others. The platform provides suggestions of games that would work well on the Backbone device, but you'll need to either have them purchased and sync your phone to your purchased content via external accounts, or (in the case of App Store and Apple Arcade), download the title to your phone. In the case of some services, like PlayStation, Xbox, or Amazon Luna, you'll need a current subscription to those networks to play. You'll also receive offers, bonus content, and items for games if you pay for a subscription to Backbone+, which is provided free for a year when you buy the device. The content that you experience will vary depending on the game that you own or choose to play via App store, so you'll be able to pick and choose how much you want to experience mature content during a gaming session.
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What’s It About?
The BACKBONE ONE PLAYSTATION EDITION is a game controller designed for the iPhone that allows players to play a wide range of games on your mobile phone. To use the device, gamers remove their phone from their case, slide the controller apart, and insert their phone into the cradle, attaching the lighting connector last. From there, it's just a matter of launching the Backbone app to control the experience on your screen. The app provides a series of options for gamers to take advantage of, such as consolidating cloud-based and remote play options. Players can select from Steam Link, Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, Xbox Live, or PlayStation Remote Play, which covers a wide variety of PC and console titles. Players can also select App store and Apple Arcade titles to play, and the Backbone app will map the controls of the selected game to the Backbone controller. Players can also take screenshots of their sessions with the basic Backbone membership. Subscribing to the Backbone+ membership provides access to a ton of additional options, such as personalized recommendations, streaming to Twitch accounts, recording and editing gameplay clips at 1080p at 60 frames per second on cloud servers, personalized game recommendations, and exclusive in-game rewards and perks. Players will also gain access to playing their games on an iPad, Mac, or PC as well.
Is It Any Good?
If you're looking to take your games on the go, this is one of the best devices you can use to make your playing experience seamless, simple, and enjoyable. The Backbone One PlayStation Edition takes your iPhone and turns it into a virtual extension of your PS4 or PS5 by using the wi-fi or mobile data of your device. Inserting your phone into the controller takes a matter of seconds, and condenses the amount of gear that you have to bring with you as well – no extra controllers, spare screens, or cables necessary. What's more, the controller is incredibly responsive and accurate, so you can take corners at high speeds in Gran Turismo 7, or blast aliens precisely in Returnal. It's also impressive that it's not a massive drain on your battery either. Instead, your phone will be running the app, which is incredibly well laid out, with suggestions of games that run well on the device in its index (which is almost 2000 titles). Games that aren't natively supported can be added to your top row of playable games by hitting a button, and the app is continually updated with new game offers, highlight videos, and tips for users. But what's also great is that you're not limited solely to PlayStation titles either. You can connect up to Steam Link or even Xbox Live to play games from those platforms, giving even more flexibility to your gaming.
Not everything about the Backbone is perfect – you do have to remove your phone from its case, which means that if you're concerned about scratching the lens of the rear-facing camera, you'll want to be careful. Also, while the app suggests other titles, such as App store or Apple Arcade games, it doesn't recognize that you might have these games installed and will ask you to download them again, so you'll have a couple of additional steps to wander through before launching a game. The same can be said for launching Remote Play, Xbox Live, or other services -- you'll need to connect or reconnect through separate interfaces if you want to play games on these platforms, which is a minor inconvenience. Finally, you'll need to be aware that the Backbone does come with a larger price – the controller is $99.99, which is at least $30-$40 more than a DualShock or Dualsense controller, and if you want to take advantage of all of the app functionality, you'll pay $49.99 for a yearly subscription, on top of the other subscriptions you may own for the various services, such as the PSN, Xbox Live, or Stadia. That tends to add up quickly, so you may want to only look at the basic app functionality and upgrade as you see fit. But these are minor issues, especially if you want to have a solid, on the go gaming experience with your phone that just works. If you have an iPhone, and love games, you need to get your hands on a Backbone.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about mature content in games. What's the best way to determine whether the titles you're playing are appropriate for you or your family? What if the games aren't rated? Can you rely on the general theme of a channel to determine whether the games are safe, or is there some other way to figure this process out?
Do you think that Backbone will help you play your games on the go? Would you rather have a dedicated device like a handheld for playing games, or is your phone with a controller (either strapped to it or connected via Bluetooth) a better way to play games? Which way do you think is the future of gaming?
- Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Apple Arcade, PlayStation 4, Windows
- Pricing structure: Paid ($99.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Backbone
- Release date: May 17, 2022
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Superheroes, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Space and Aliens
- ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
- Last updated: October 28, 2022
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