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.