Backbone One PlayStation Edition (2nd gen) – Making Remote Gaming Easy

In a world where handheld gaming is once again on the rise, the Backbone stands strong as one of the best options for those who don’t want to shell out for a dedicated console like a Steam Deck, or who would simply prefer the simplicity and size of something that can attach to their phone with ease. We took a look at the USB-C version of the updated edition of the Backbone One – PlayStation® Edition to check out why this aptly named console remains the Backbone (sorry, I had to make the joke once) of the mobile controller market.

Aesthetically, there’s very little difference between the 2nd generation edition of the device and its predecessor. With the use of an extendable support, it neatly clips onto your phone with little fuss using the existing (in this case USB-C) port, and most of the time you’re ready to go. In the past, issues used to arise when you (like almost everyone would) introduced am even-slightly-thick phone case into the mix, which would bulk out the phone and make trying to plug it into the port either incredibly finicky or straight up impossible. The newest edition, to my great joy, does away with this problem. In the box are easy to remove magnetic adaptors that allow for larger (or case-covered) phones to slip in neatly. Even though it puts a little pressure on the supporting backpiece, I can even fit my phone inside it with a Pop Socket fixed to the back. Huge.

The buttons themselves have had a bit of a makeover, and on this edition feel satisfyingly clicky where they need to, providing plenty of feedback. The triggers are a little soft, and it can be easy to press them accidentally if you’re holding the device a little loosely, but that soft touch isn’t unpleasant. It’s a contrast to the more solid buttons on the face, but you get used to it quickly. The headphone and external charging ports are also perfectly placed to allow for you to play without cords getting in the way, and without worrying about your phone dying during or after a longer gaming session. 

As far as the software goes – you can do everything you need to do with the base level app. Backbone do offer a subscription service, Backbone+, but after trialling the service for about a month, I’m not sure I see it being worth the cost. It does allow you to see a library of all the games you can access across consoles and services in one place, which is extremely handy, and I wish it existed outside of the Backbone device – someone develop that please – but unless you want to use social features like easier streaming or voice chat, the free app will be more than adequate. It’s easy to use, allows you to launch Xbox Game Pass and Cloud Gaming, PS Remote and Steam Link apps from one place, and can easily be activated by pressing the Backbone logo button on the controller. It does what it needs to do. 


The experience that the Backbone offers is perfect for those whose console time is limited by others wanting to use the TV in their home, or who want to be able to multitask themselves while using that TV for something else. Input lag time is negligible when using the device, it’s comfortable to hold, and easy to use – as far as the grip itself is concerned, I basically have no notes. Any flaw I encountered using the device never felt like it was due to the device itself, but rather a problem caused by the pains of remote gaming on Australian internet.  

I could talk about the flaws of those services and how it’s annoying that my PS5 won’t consistently boot up when asked to by the Remote Play app, or how using Steam Link can vary between perfect performance and a mess of inverted colours and black screens. But none of that has anything to do with the Backbone itself. The Backbone allows me to actually utilise services like Remote Play and Xbox Cloud Gaming without having to deal with those obtrusive on-screen buttons, trying to use touch controls for games that weren’t designed for them. It’s a neat device that allows me to actually access my game library on the go, even if the lag of Australian internet means the experience isn’t exactly what it might be on a console. For less than $200AUD, and often on sale, I’d recommend the Backbone to anyone who feels like they want to play games on the go, or even just want to let one of the other inhabitants of their house monopolise the TV a little more often. 

Player 2 was kindly provided with the Backbone One Playstation Edition for review by Backbone. 

You can grab the Backbone for yourself from Amazon, or other major retailers. 

You might see some links on this page that take you to Amazon. We are an Amazon Associate which means we earn a commission from qualifying purchases. These help to keep the lights on here at Player 2 and keep us sending the gaming goodness your way. 

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