It wasn’t all that long ago that I introduced you to the Spike, an attachable iPhone keyboard. It seems Kickstarter is full of great ideas for iPhone accessories, because we’ve already got another one.
It’s no secret that I think tablet and mobile gaming, although great ideas, feel far too unnatural to veteran gamers. This is why I’ve thrown my support behind the Ouya (which is essentially a fully hackable Asus Transformer Prime at 1/7 the cost) and the GameDock (which plugs your iOS device into your TV, essentially turning it into a game console), because they give you the same great games with the nostalgia and practicality of physical controllers. Now we have the Bladepad, which, like the Spike, attaches to your iPhone as easily as a standard case, but like the GameDock, serves to give you a physical controller, instead turning your iPhone into a handheld system rather than a console. The best of both ideas? Maybe.
As opposed to the GameDock, which is currently limited in compatibility to retro NES-style controllers, the Bladepad gives you dual joysticks and shoulder buttons, much more reminiscent of modern game controllers. I’m all for nostalgia, but I much prefer a joystick over a d-pad.
As you can see, the Bladepad slides to the back of your phone when you’re not using it, and maintains a smooth surface without annoying bumps. If you don’t want it, it detaches and leaves just the protective case attached to your phone, instead. It connects to your iPhone using Bluetooth 4.0 (which currently limits which iPhones it’ll work with), and comes with a charging cable that will charge both your iPhone and the Bladepad at the same time, and a fully charge Bladepad lasts for four hours.
The Bladepad works with every iOS game that features virtual joystick/buttons or tilt controls, but according to the Kickstarter page, the makers of the Bladepad are “in talks with several major game studios and many independent studios as well” to develop iOS games that are specifically made for the Bladepad.
If you’re as interested as I am, the Bladepad can be yours for a pledge of $59. If you wait, the MSRP of the Bladepad is $40 more expensive. There are plans for an iPhone 5 specific version of the Bladepad, and, depending on the success of the Kickstarter project, a Bladepad specifically for Android devices is also being planned for development.
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