Android Controllers: Nyko’s Cygnus vs SteelSeries Stratus XL

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As we are right in the heart of the rise of mobile gaming, it is only natural to see more high-end controllers coming to the market for the joy of Android and iOS gamers and today we are putting 2 of these Android controllers face to face: Nyko’s Cygnus and Stratus XL by SteelSeries.

Let’s start with Nyko, which isn’t new to making controllers for Android devices and this year at E3 2015 the company has unveiled a new controller which is compatible with Android phones, tablets, and set-top boxes called the Cygnus. Compared to Nyko’s previous controllers for Android, this one features a few differences and improvements.

nyko-cygnus_controller2Nyko’s older controllers featured a more round edge design, while the new Cygnus is, as you can see, much more smooth and ergonomic design to it. Button placement hasn’t changed too much between the old and the new controllers either. However, one big change are the side grips which are much bigger on the Cygnus. These grips actually help a lot at times when holding onto your controller versus one without any real extra grip.

In the middle you have your usual start, select and home buttons like always but this time all three LED indicators are also located in the mid section near those buttons. Previously, the Playpad Pro only had a battery indicator while the normal Playpad had two LEDs, which honestly never made sense. It should have been the other way around. The Cygnus has all three right there instead.

The Cygnus will run off of any Android 3.0+ device or set-top box and uses two AA batteries to power it. We don’t have an exact release date but know this, it is definitely coming this year and as for the price, it will be in the lower end of the spectrum, coming in at $24.99.

steelseriesNext is the Stratus XL, which was announced to be coming to Android devices later this year, Unlike SteelSeries older controllers (called the SteelSeries FREE) for Android devices, which were small and meant to fit into your pocket easily, the Stratus XL is a full-sized controller with all of the buttons and joysticks you would expect to find on a controller of this nature. Here is the setup you’ll find with the Stratus XL: an 8-way directional D-pad, two high fidelity clickable analog joysticks, four face buttons, and a total of four shoulder buttons (two top shoulder buttons and two analog triggers).

One handy little feature is that the Stratus XL also comes with four LEDs for player indicator and battery status level, as well as three center buttons allowing for easy navigation in games and Steam Big Picture Mode. The Steam Big Picture Mode compatibility will be especially useful for Shield device owners GameStreaming Steam games onto your Shield device or console, although the controller can also be used for gaming on Windows. Lastly, the Stratus XL will last around 40 hours off of the AA batteries that power it, which is pretty decent.

So when can you get your hands on this? The Stratus XL is slated to go on sale for Android devices sometime in July. Pricing hasn’t been made official for the Android version, but should be close to the iOS/Windows compatible versions which range between $59.99-$69.99 Of course SteelSeries is at E3 and we will be fondling this controller later this week as well as getting confirmation on pricing.

Which one do you prefer? And what do you think is the king of Android game controllers? Let us know below!