The iPhone is probably the biggest portable gaming device on the market today. Sure, it’s not exactly branded that way, but the reality is that millions of people are playing games on the iPhone every day. And that’s why we’re surprised that we haven’t seen more gaming controllers for the handset. The iControlpad took on this challenge very earlier on, and at the time seemed like the ideal solution, even though it was a bulky add-on. And then there was the Gamebone, which now looking back (and trying to reach their site to no avail) was just vaporware. The better solution? The Bladepad for the iPhone 4s.
It’s a Kickstarter project, and so far it hasn’t raised the kind of cash we would have expected for a project of this ilk – perhaps it has something to do with the impending arrival of the iPhone 5. That hurdle aside, the Bladepad is the best solution we’ve seen to date for gaming on the iPhone. Instead of attaching to the iPhone and hanging off it like a growth, the Bladepad doubles as a protective case, and features a tray that slides out to reveal a complete array of console worthy controls. This includes two analog sticks (suck it PSP), a d-pad, a double set of shoulder buttons, select/start, and the traditional a/x/y/b buttons. The Bladepad connects to the iPhone via Bluetooth 4.0, has a built-in “powerful micro-processor”, and is sports a metal bezel that uses the same material as found in the iPhone 4s. In terms of battery life, you can expect to get about 4 hours of gameplay per charge, which mind you comes by way of a dual pronged USB cable that can charge both your iPhone and the Bladepad at the same time.
Unfortunately, we don’t know the thickness, as in the measurements of the Bladepad, or the shipping date. However, we can tell you that if you act now you can get one for as little as $59. The developers have 19 days and about $42k to go before the project is officially funded. But despite that, they’re already in talks with “several major game studios,” which should help lend some credence to the project’s viability. Our suggestion? Relaunch the product after the iPhone 5 is announced.