60beat’s GamePad is looking to change the way people play games on their iDevices. Touch sensitive screens are pushing the boundaries of game design and forcing developers to get creative with how they approach user interfaces, but we are still seeing a ton of virtual joysticks in iPad games and on-screen buttons that can really get in the way. The new GamePad fixes that and turns your iPad into a full blown game console device with dual analog joysticks, 10 action buttons, and battery free play via the headphone jack of your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Check out our review inside!
Have you ever been playing a game on the iPad and started to wish you could just plug in your PS3 controller and have at it? Well now you can with 60beat’s GamePad! Installing the GamePad is dead simple, just plug it into the headphone jack. The controller comes with a headphone splitter and 4 feet of cord so you have plenty of room to move about. Any game that supports it (there are 3 at the moment) has an option in their menu to turn it on, and then you are ready to go!
So how does it fair? Well we found the GamePad to be pretty darn nice actually! It is light, but doesn’t feel cheap, there is great feedback on the joysticks and the buttons all have a satisfying springy feel to them. It registers instantly in the game and feels great in the hands! It is a bit on the large size however, so those with small hands might find the controller a tad bit uncomfortable, but we found that any initial awkwardness was quickly forgotten once we got into the games.
The only real negative thing we could find with this controller was that since it plugs into the headphone jack of the iPad, audio won’t play through the speakers. However it does come with a headphone splitter, and you could pretty easily hook up a pair of speakers to it as well. I mean… if you are going with a game controller, why not splurge and get a set of speakers to complete the console experience?
The ease of use, dead simple setup, and high quality of this controller makes it a great accessory in our books! Granted, we’re not the most hardcore of gamers out there, but we do know our way around a joystick or two.
Currently there are three games that make use of the GamePad (Bugdom, Aftermath, and Caster), though hopefully more are on the way. The designers say it is very easy for developers to add GamePad functionality into their games. We are starting to see more of these kinds of devices hit the market, and it will be very interesting to see which ones gain traction and stick around!
60beat has made a great iPad accessory here, and they are a solid contender. Now it’s up to their outreach program to contact developers, and it’s up to you dear readers to vote with your wallets.