OtterBox is a household name when it comes to phone cases, but the company has never really delved into gaming accessories — until now. During CES 2021, OtterBox announced a significant lineup of mobile gaming gear, including clips, cases and controller shells. The gear is all optimized for Xbox One and Xbox Series X controllers, which are more useful than ever for mobile gaming, thanks to cloud gaming services like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now and, of course, the Xbox Game Streaming app.
Since there’s no physical CES expo this year, Tom’s Guide met with OtterBox digitally to learn all about the company’s first foray into mobile gaming. Generally speaking, the accessories on offer are a little on the expensive side, but aim to solve problems that cheaper mobile gaming gear doesn’t. If these accessories are anything like OtterBox’s standard phone cases, we imagine they’ll also be fairly hard to kill.
OtterBox Mobile Gaming Clip
Gaming clips are the backbone of any mobile gaming setup, since they allow you attach your phone and your controller to a single apparatus. The OtterBox Mobile Gaming Clip seems convenient, as it attaches to an Xbox controller and any kind of mobile phone without blocking the charging ports on either. You can also adjust the clip’s arm so that it doesn’t press down on any buttons, which could throw the volume out of whack — or accidentally end your session altogether. You can also use the clip to prop your phone up on a table, if you prefer to just hold the controller. The clip costs $30.
OtterBox Gaming Carry Case
If all you need for a mobile gaming session is a controller and a phone, then the OtterBox Gaming Carry Case should have you covered. This case has just enough room for an Xbox controller, a phone, a clip and some cables. There’s a fold-out stand on the top of the case, which means you don’t need a clip to play, provided you can find a stable surface. You can even charge your controller while you transport it, thanks to a cable passthrough in the case. The case costs $45.
OtterBox Easy Grip Controller Shell
Strictly a “nice-to-have” accessory, the OtterBox Easy Grip Controller Shell is an Xbox controller skin that provides grip pads for the handles and not much else. The skin “protects against abrasion and scuffs,” according to OtterBox, although a case would theoretically do the job even better. At $40, the controller shell seems like a tough sell, although it’s worth noting that it’s available in both Xbox One and Xbox Series X configurations. This might be a good way to repurpose an old Xbox One controller as a phone accessory.
OtterBox Easy Grip Gaming Case
OtterBox is a phone case company, so it’s only fitting that the gaming lineup includes the OtterBox Easy Grip Gaming Case. The “gaming” part of this plain black case comes in textured ridges on the back, which theoretically makes a phone easier to grip. It can also theoretically dissipate heat quickly — but for the most part, it’s basically just a durable case for your iPhone 12, 11 or SE, with Android versions coming later. It costs $55.
OtterBox Gaming Glass Privacy Guard
The OtterBox Gaming Glass Privacy Guard is half screen protector and half privacy screen. Basically, it keeps your screen scratch-free while preventing passersby from seeing what you’re playing. It’s also compatible with OtterBox cases, so you don’t need to worry about choosing between protection for the front of your phone, or the back. Unlike most privacy screens, this one is optimized for a horizontal configuration, which is better for gaming. But at $50, it’s pretty pricey, so use your judgment.
All of the products described above will be available for pre-order on January 25, and start shipping around the middle of February. As for whether the devices will justify their relatively high prices, that depends on how much mobile gaming you do — and how long you want your gear to last.