During the long wait for my Steam Deck to arrive and searching around for an affordable portable solution to play PC, Xbox and Playstation games on the go, I turned to the 2020 Apple iPad Mini 6 that I have been using as my tablet of choice since earlier this year. It offers a good 8.3″ IPS display with access to all the popular game streaming apps and offers support for both Xbox and Playstation controllers. In years gone by, you could pick up mounts for the older iPad models to attach them to controllers but they were quite niche and due to this there hasn’t been any models released for the newer iPad mini.
Not to be deterred, scouring eBay resulted in finding sellers who sell bespoke 3D printed modified clips to hold your device regardless of size, these however are a bit rough around the edges but an affordable option for most.
The search continues and I eventually came across the OtterBox Mobile Gaming Clip for MagSafe, as the name suggests this is aimed at Apple devices supporting MagSafe which unfortunately the iPad line does not as of yet, but the new iPad Pro models are rumoured to support the MagSafe accessories so maybe it will trickle down to the non-pro models in years to come. This mount appeared to offer the best solution, but with no MagSafe support on the iPad the device would not attach and so to solve this issue I ordered a cheap third party folio case from Amazon, it would allow me to easily attach and remove the iPad without needing to clip it into place and would all be attached using magnets to a point where it would be secure enough to use.
The front of the case wasn’t really needed anymore so after carefully removing the front cover I decided to use some strong velcro to attach the two parts. This is more of a temporary solution as really a strong adhesive would be better to make the whole thing permanent but wanted some flexibility in testing the device out in terms of weight and balance first. With the two circles of strong velcro attached the cover and mount were left for a number of hours to allow for the adhesive to bond.
Once the device is attached to the Xbox One controller and iPad mounted it functions as expected, it is quite heavy with the iPad coming in at 293 grams for the WiFi model, but for shorter sessions the weight shouldn’t be too much of an issue. A lot of other mounts on the market mount the device to the back of the controller, which itself causes more strain on the wrists and likely wouldn’t work with the iPad mini but as this mounts the device above the controller it doesn’t throw off the balance as much and brings the screen closer to you making it that bit more immersive.
The iPad itself makes for a great gaming device, with Apple Arcade offering a bunch of great titles, the ability to stream from your own PC, Xbox, Playstation and the countless game streaming platforms it really is a device that can play almost anything. To cover that retro itch, I also installed DolphiniOS and Delta from the AltStore, so now it’s possible to play most Nintendo titles up to through to the Nintendo Wii titles.
In terms of cost, the clip, case and other materials cost around £28 which was much cheaper than the £300+ cost of the Odin Pro I was looking at getting to fill the void until the Steam Deck.
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