This gorgeous Death Stranding limited edition Backbone One iPhone controller is semi-transparent and includes a free copy of the game, saving you up to $40

Death Stranding Backbone One
(Image credit: Backbone)

When Apple announced the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max back in September of last year gaming was a key focus. Apple's best iPhones both feature the A17 Pro, a chip that is capable of console-like gaming experiences the likes of which we had previously not seen on a smartphone. Since then we've seen the release of Resident Evil Village and the remade Resident Evil 4 into the App Store, but there's an even bigger release on the horizon.

That release is of course Death Stranding Director's Cut, a game that will up the ante for mobile gaming. But to play it at its best you're going to need a controller. There are tons of iPhone game controllers to choose from and the Backbone One is one of our favorites. Now, Backbone has announced a limited edition version of that controller to celebrate the arrival of Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding and it might just be the best-looking controller to date.

Not only is Backbone offering its new Backbone ONe Death Stranding Limited Edition controller but it's also throwing in a free copy of the game as well, saving you up to $40 and giving you the chance to play the title on the newest iPhones and the iPad and Mac. The new controller is available for order starting today, and it's the version to buy if you've been on the fence about picking one up.

Game on

Backbone announced its new controller in a press release sent to iMore and a larger blog post offering all of the details you could ever want to know.

"This collaboration commemorates the release of DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT for iOS," the announcement explains. "The Backbone One controller features custom product and packaging designs that blend the innovative design of the Backbone One with the artistic vision of Hideo Kojima and his award-winning title, DEATH STRANDING."

The controller itself is functionally identical to the Backbone One that's already on sale including the USB-C port that is required for use with the iPhone 15 Pro models. It features a semi-transparent yellow case with Backbone confirming that a limited number will be sold globally.

"All Backbone One USB-C 2nd Gen controllers include magnetic adapters, which allow for even better phone fit and support for a large assortment of phone cases," Backbone's description of the controller details. "The reshaped D-pad enhances responsiveness, resulting in superior feel and control across all gameplay genres. When combined with the Backbone app – which puts all of gaming in one place – it’s our most accessible gaming experience ever."

As for pricing, the new controller sells for $124.99 and is available for order directly from Backbone's website. You'll get a free game code that will unlock the Death Stranding Director's Cut game via the Backbone app but make sure to redeem it — Backbone says that it must be redeemed by February 29, perhaps hinting that it expects to sell through its controllers long before that date.

Already have a controller? You can preorder Death Stranding Director's Cut in the App Store for $19.99 with the price increasing to $39.99 at an unspecified date in the future. It's important to remember that gets you the game on three different platforms too. You'll need plenty of space, however, with an initial 13GB download required before an additional 50GB download is initiated, publisher 505 Games has confirmed.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.