This smart game controller has a screen for phone notifications

Whether you prefer playing on consoles, PCs, or even mobile phones, chances are you will be using a controller at some point or another. Game controllers are a dime a dozen these days, and they come in all shapes, sizes, and feature sets. Some are so tiny they can fit on a keyring, while others try to include everything and the kitchen sink in a handheld gadget. A new design leans more towards the latter, listing a litany of features that could make pro gamers on any platform drool. But while the Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra is already quite notable for its its RGB lighting, which gamers apparently love, it has a special trick that seems both cool yet also over-the-top for something you hold in your hands and barely look at while playing.

Designer: Turtle Beach

Game controllers have come a long way since the earliest days of gaming. There are now more buttons than you can handle, added to cope with the growing complexity of games. Some controllers even have touchpads or some mouse mode, thanks to games or software that need a bit more precise movement than a joystick. The Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra doesn’t have the latter but instead slaps a 1.5-inch display in the middle for showing customization options and notifications, even from social media apps coming from your phone.

This “Connected Command Display” feature, as it is called, is definitely a fancy way to upgrade the game controller. In a nutshell, it lets you see and access controller settings right on the controller itself, removing the need to put up a separate window on the PC or console screen. You can even connect it to an iPhone or Android phone and it will show notifications as they come.

The implementation, however, leaves a few things to be desired, like how you have to switch to a specific mode to use the controller to navigate that screen, breaking your flow. Making it a touch screen could have made it more convenient. Having it display notifications might also be overkill or too distracting since you will most likely want to keep your eyes on the game screen rather than having them glance down at the controller.

Aside from the screen, the Stealth Ultra is chockful of features that gamers will definitely appreciate, ranging from drift-free analog sticks, so that you won’t feel like a ghost is moving them sometimes, to a promise of lag-free wireless connection to customizable RGB lighting to match your game and mood. These features, however, don’t come without a price, specifically a $199.99 price tag. That takes the Turtle Beach Stealth Ultra to the “premium” game controller segment, though some of those features might sound a little superfluous or even unnecessary, especially for hyper-focused gamers.