While there are many benefits to gaming on an iOS device, such as cheap games and an impressive handheld experience, there is one downside: no physical control pad. That won’t be much of a problem to some, but to gamers like me — who like to play first-person shooters and retro platformers — a physical control pad compatible with our iOS devices is truly missed.
That’s why the 60beat GamePad is a dream come true for iOS gamers.
The 60beat GamePad sports a similar design to Sony’s PlayStation 3 controller, and it’s compatible with your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It plugs into your device’s headphone jack and requires no setup — it just works. It also doesn’t need batteries.
60beat’s press release says the GamePad “significantly improves” the gaming experience on an iOS device:
With proprietary technology that uses the headphone jack as the interface, the 60beat® GamePad significantly improves the IOS gaming experience by moving the controls from the screen to a fully-featured hand-held game controller.
Developed to look, feel and operate like widely-used external controllers, GamePad easily and instantly transforms an iPad®, iPhone® or iPod touch® into a game console. The ergonomic design delivers superior comfort and control. Buttons and joysticks are engineered to deliver precise response and the tactile sensations gamers expect.
I have to say, I am incredibly excited about the GamePad, and I can’t wait to try it out. It does sport a slightly steep $50 price tag, but I think that premium will be worth it if the GamePad meets my expectations.
Unfortunately that’s not the case at the moment, because it only officially supports two titles — Bugdom 2 and Aftermath. But here’s to hoping that we’ll see a lot more support for some bigger titles very soon.
The GamePad comes in white and ships with an audio splitter that will allow you to use the control pad and listen to your game through headphones simultaneously. In addition to dual analogue sticks, the device features a d-pad and ten action buttons, and a four-foot cable from controller to headphone jack.