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Backbone One (2023) Review: A Premium Mobile Gaming Controller

The Backbone One (2023) builds upon the success of its predecessor, maintaining its status as one of the top mobile gaming controllers in the market. Priced at £99.99, it competes in a space where the PlayStation Portal costs £200, prompting a consideration of its value proposition.

Design-wise, the Backbone One (2023) retains the simplicity and effectiveness of the original. With a console-like layout, it clamps onto smartphones in landscape orientation, resembling a smaller Nintendo Switch. The USB-C port ensures compatibility with the latest Apple smartphones, and a bridge extension accommodates larger phones.

Noteworthy additions include swappable magnetic adapters for broader phone compatibility, although some users find them a bit fiddly. The PlayStation Edition introduces a cosmetic change, mimicking the PS DualSense look, but the functional aspects remain consistent.

In terms of performance, the Backbone One (2023) excels with superb gaming controls. The D-pad and buttons receive slight improvements for enhanced precision. The overall build quality, button responsiveness, and analog stick quality contribute to a top-notch gaming experience. It proves its worth in console conversions like Wreckfest and Resident Evil Village.

The software aspect is a crucial component of the Backbone One's appeal. The Backbone app acts as a centralized hub, offering access to games and services. The PlayStation Edition supports PS Remote Play, seamlessly translating PlayStation games to the smartphone screen. Xbox Cloud Gaming and GeForce Now are also supported.

The TouchSync software enhances regular mobile games like Genshin Impact by automatically mapping touch controls. This feature, combined with the slick UI, contributes to an integrated gaming experience.


While the Backbone One (2023) maintains a similar design to its predecessor, its compatibility improvements and refined controls make it a strong contender in the mobile gaming accessory market. Priced at £100/$100, it stands as a premium option for serious mobile gamers or those invested in game streaming services, justifying its cost over time.

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