Handheld gaming has been a double-edged sword for Apple thus far. On one hand, with the App Store, the tech giant has a stronghold on the easiest, most prolific means of distribution. However, the lack of physical buttons have put the iOS devices at a disadvantage. I can’t dream up a single scenario for a hardcore gamer where it would be more convenient to tap a screen rather than hold a controller when playing games like GTA or Madden. Now, Engadget reports that third party developer 60beat is coming to Apple’s rescue.
One connects their GamePad for iOS controller to the device via the headphone jack and well…plays. Its layout is virtually identical to any console controller, with a d-pad, two analog sticks, and six action buttons, so I’d imagine that there wouldn’t be much of a learning curve while getting acquainted. But, the one drawback I do see is that the product isn’t wireless. In these days of bluetooth and infrared, wires are just an extra hassle that can be eliminated whenever possible, not to mention that when using the controller, one would lose access to sound.
All that said, the GamePad is indeed a novel idea, and though it isn’t perfect yet, it could set the framework for further innovation. Keep your eyes peeled for other developers to take 60beat’s concept further later this year.