CES 2013: ZAGG / iFrogz Unveil The Caliber Advantage

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20130109-014139.jpgSo after stopping by the iFrogz / ZAGG booth last night at the Digital Experience, we were invited to an unveiling of a special jump into the gaming arena. We knew nothing about it, other than that Epic had been developing for it. After leaving intrigued, we couldn’t wait to get the viewing this afternoon. So after walking around and watching some crazy wubstep dancing (if that is what you would call it) we happened to the upstairs area over the ZAGG booth. We sat down with our cookies and beverages and sat eagerly waiting.

We were told how ZAGG has started as an audio company, specifically for gaming, so really jumping into this arena is really where the company would like to go. Teaming up with different developers to help get this off the ground has so far proved to be a good thing, especially after what we say.

The Caliber Advantage is an iPhone 5 / iPod Touch 5th Gen case that features a slide out joystic/d-pad and button layout for console style gaming, right from your iDevice. Featuring true analog joystic control, connecting via bluetooth without any lag, you can get a fun and comfortable gaming experience that really hasn’t been successfully mastered. There have been attempts from manufacturers to get that iPhone, iPod and iPad into the gaming scene, but nothing really is comfortable or has made it fun. But with the Caliber, not only are we getting a useful solution, we are seeing developers jump on board to develop and port games to this style of play to really bring gaming to the iPhone.

A slim case with left and right slide outs tucked underneath is all this really is. As they slide out, you can you can comfortably play the game that is on your device. We got to see a small glimpse into something developed using the Unreal Engine from Epic and we can tell you that if they keep this up and we get a nice portable version of Gears of War, I will be one extremely happy camper. Whether it is an FPS or racing game, it really seems that we can master the art of gaming on a mobile device.

The case will pack a 180mAh battery that boasts 10 hours of life. Magnets inside the device will know when the device is open or closed, which will power it on and off, and when opening the device it powers on and automatically pairs with the device. The case and controls will support both landscape and portrait mode, which we saw in the Unreal Engine demo for landscape and Tetris for portrait. I’ve played Tetris on my iPhone and being able to utilize these controls the speed of higher levels will be damned!

We don’t have an exact release date, but we are pretty much just waiting for game developers to get in on this action. We’ll hopefully have some review samples shipping around this year’s Game Developers Conference, which iFrogz and ZAGG are inviting everyone to come out to and help develop for this platform to utilize the controls. You’ll be able to freely download their SDK to start the development. Price point will be a very reasonable $69.99.

We’ll let you know more as we hear about it, including upcoming titles! We were also told that there will be two more product launches that will introduce cases for new devices, we were really given any other information, but possibly Android, Windows Phone or even tablet support? Who knows!

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About Author

Apple fanboy, alcoholic and video game player. I love all things 8-bit. I enjoy a good microbrew but love to drink the Pabst Blue Ribbon. I've been writing on blogs for a few years now, settling at Gadgetsteria.com in 2010, and now in 2014, Bitbitbyte.

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