Gaming with the squad has always been a challenge. When I was growing up, you’d need to make sure you packed your games and controllers if you’d want to play the game with a friend...at their house. [Ed note: And at, you’d have to wait your turn to actually play, depending on how many controllers/gamers were in the spot.] The internet made it easy to play with friends who weren’t sitting right next to you (which came in clutch during the COVID-19 quarantine), but you still had to make sure that both of you had the same consoles and games, and hope that the internet connection was stable enough so there was no lag or delay in voice chat. All of that is about to change with the announcement that Xbox and Backbone partnering up to bring Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to the iPhone using the Backbone One controller.

Today, it was announced that the Backbone One controller has joined the Designed for Xbox family, and is the bridge that will turn any iPhone running iOS 13 or better into one serious gaming device. Many reviewers have discussed how iPhone-friendly the Backbone One is—picture a Nintendo Switch, but instead of the Switch screen in between two Joycons, you have your iPhone and this sleek device.

Backbone
Image via Backbone

It’s built like any console controller you’ve gamed with but it connects to your iPhone using a built-in Lightining port, which also allows for pass-through charging to your device. The Backbone One looks and feels like any controller you’ve spent hours holding, but you may be asking yourselves, “how many mobile games, realistically, will I be playing?” That’s where Xbox Game Pass Ultimate comes in.

If you’re not already up on Xbox Game Pass (which has been described as “Netflix for Gaming”), this is where things change. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate service gives you the ability to play online with your friends, as well as access to iconic games like the Halo series, Destiny 2, the Doom series, the Gears of War franchise, and many others, with games being added monthly! With an iPhone, Backbone One, and an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, you’ve got one of the most powerful mobile gaming devices in the palm of your hand!

Backbone iPhone Xbox Game Pass Row
Image via Backbone

Another key feature in Backbone is their Highlights Editor. Gaming is one of the more popular mediums online, but for many, it’s hard to show off fire gameplay footage if you don’t have all of the equipment. The Backbone app makes it easy to record your gameplay (using the Capture button), edit the clips, and then share them immediately to social media via your phone. Simple! Backbone also now supports Xbox Cloud Gaming, allowing you to share your footage with an easy link!  

Backbone Highlights Editor
Image via Backbone

If you’re an iPhone user who is serious about their gaming, the Backbone One controller might be the way to go. You can head over to playbackbone.com to purchase the Backbone One for Xbox, which features the Backbone One controller and three months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $99.