One of the frustrations for gamers using mobile devices is that most mobile games aren’t really designed for touchscreens. They’re designed for controllers, and no amount of touchscreen buttons are going to offer the feedback a controller does. Samsung has decided it can’t leave mobile controllers to third parties… so it’s rolling out its own.
Winning The Game
It’s true this product was announced earlier, but it was largely a concept, and between now and its new reveal, it’s gone through a few changes.
The most basic is that while it still cribs the layout of the Xbox controller, it no longer looks like one: Instead it goes for a black-and-grey look, with the buttons marked using dots instead of symbols or letters. So it looks good… but will it play well?
Good question. Any gamepad issued has to answer the question of how it’ll interact with the app store on each platform; while controller APIs are out there, of course, game developers are under no requirement to make use of them. So we’re hopeful this includes a gamepad app that allows us to tweak controls.
Similarly, one hopes that this gamepad includes support for more than just Samsung phones; otherwise support, and games, will be limited.
Still, it’ll be nice to have another controller option out there for the hard core. The real question is when most of us will be able to get our hands wrapped around it. While it’s actually already been released in a few European markets, Samsung is being unusually tight-lipped about its plans for release elsewhere in the world, or what this controller will cost. One assumes that the big coming-out part for this will be at the Consumer Electronics Show, held every January. Keep an eye out for an announcement at the beginning of the year.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.