Previously we told you about the Bladepad, an iPhone 4/4S case with a slide out, detachable game controller. As great of a product the Bladepad is, its shortcoming is that it is designed to be something used with the iPhone. The iControlPad 2, now on Kickstarter, is designed to be a game controller for any device, not just an accessory to the iPhone.
Using open source code, the iControlPad 2 allows you to have a game controller for any Bluetooth-enabled device, regardless of make, model, or operating system. This means that Android and iOS users alike (or those who own both) will have one game pad to power their gaming on their devices. The team over Product 3, designers of the iControlPad, have even taken it a step further and included a USB connection for the iControlPad 2 for any device that doesn’t have Bluetooth.
The hardware looks impressive. The game pad includes dual analog sticks, a D-pad, two shoulder or bumper buttons, and four buttons. The iControlPad 2 even includes a full QWERTY keyboard for quick typing or messaging. Its open source programming means that application and developer support is not necessary, as users can quickly customize and map the controls to the iControlPad 2 to their liking. Storage of the iControlPad 2 is easy with a swivel clamp that allows you to swivel the control pad behind your device, making that interruption from Mom’s phone call a little easier to bear.
Product 3 is claiming 14 hours of use on a single charge; the device you’re playing games on will go dead long before your iControlPad 2 will. At only $49 for early bird supporters, this controller costs the same as a console controller that only works on just one console with a fraction of the options. So fifty bucks for a true open source controller is a steal.
The iControlPad 2 looks to be the end all be all solution for a better mobile gaming controller. As more and more console ports show up on mobile devices, having a universal game controller for them will make the transition from console to mobile device a better experience. Furthermore, developers have oftentimes fallen short in the ability to incorporate the same tight controls using onscreen buttons and analog sticks, so having the option to utilize a real controller will allow gamers the same experience they’re used to on their consoles.
As much I as I loved Rockstar’s graphics and features of GTA III and Max Payne to iOS, having the iControlPad 2 would have possibly made me actually want to play the games for more than 30 minutes after repeated frustration with the onscreen touch controls.
Check out the video of the iControlPad 2 below in action, and then head over to their Kickstarter page to order yours.