Roccat puts PC game controls on your phone

power grid 4

Roccat's mysterious viral marketing campaign has run its full duration, with the announcement of Power-Grid, a new mobile application that puts PC game controls onto your phone screen.

Power-Grid is a customisable interface which will be launched first on iPhone, with Android devices to follow, that puts macro keys and chat functions into a customisable layout for quick access while playing. The best way to think of it is as an interactive version of Logitech's G-series keyboard displays, combined with the LCD screen buttons of an Art Lebedev keyboard.

In the default app, there are three predefined layouts for compatible games, system stats and media controls. Each element – whether it's volume controls, macros or chat information – can be configured into a custom layout for your preferences. System information like CPU load and temperature can also be displayed: you'll need to pair it via WiFi with a background application on you desktop as well, but both pieces of software are free to download.

At release there's integrated controls for volume and chat with Skype, Teamspeak and Facebook.

The payoff for Roccat will come later in the year when it launches a keyboard range with iPhone, Android and Bluetooth docks that let you sit a smartphone in the space usually reserved for the number pad. There will also be a range of standalone USB docks, currently codenamed Apuri. Once docked, your PC should be able to act as a speakerphone extension for your mobile, so you can take incoming calls on your gaming headset without leaving a dungeon.

As a concept, I have to say I quite like it – although its success or failure will largely hang on whether or not the macro keys trigger actions as quickly as using a wired keyboard. It's very similar to some of Razer's concept designs, but has a certain flexibility that I prefer. Making use of an extra screen that you already own seems sensible – certain useful for MMOs or RTS gaming.