ThinkGeek Finally Releases iControlPad, The D-Pad For Your iPhone



I’ve been in the blogging-in-my-underpants business for a long time now, and over the years, one of the only things that has been an immutable law is that the long-awaited iControlPad for iPhone will always be just on the cusp of release.

So imagine the way my whole world flipped topsy-turvy when I checked my email box this morning and noticed that the unthinkable had happened, and iControlPad had finally been released. Is this even real life?

If you’ve never caught a single one of the dozens of blog posts about the product since it was first announced way back in 2008, the iControlPad is a physical, SNES-like D-Pad for your iPhone that pairs through Bluetooth. Originally, the guys behind iControlPad were going to use the Dock Connector, but they ran afoul of Apple’s approval process.

Now iControlPad is finally here, thanks to a partnership from our buddies over at ThinkGeek. By releasing through ThinkGeek, iControlPad is compatible with any game that works with the ICase Control Cabinet, guaranteeing compatibility with a few dozen games, at least. The iControlPad is also compatible with Android, and on that system, there are a lot more games to avail yourself of.

The bad news is the price: $75 seems like an awful lot of money to pay for a bulky physical add-on to your iPhone that is only compatible with a handful of games, especially when you could pick up a used DSi for about the same price.

  • AriRomano

    there should be an official one that looks great, and doesn’t connect wirelessly but i know there’s not gonna be one rom apple.

  • prof_peabody

    “Originally, the guys behind iControlPad were going to use the Dock Connector, but they ran afoul of Apple’s approval process.”  

    Translation: They went out of their way NOT to *pay* to licence the dock connector from Apple.  

    I can’t help but think this wouldn’t have been half as clunky a design if it just snapped onto the phone and used the dock connector.  Why would anyone buy this when the smaller, better designed and more capable Nintendo DS is currently not selling because people think it’s too big and clunky and old-school?  

  • FriarNurgle


  • Cincotta_e

    I was planning on patenting one of these things. First person shooters would be EPIC.

  • SbMobile

    Even if they paid, Apple will NEVER license anyone that’s NOT in their Apple Store family. It’s a bit arrogant of inventors to think that just because the make something, Apple’s just dying to use it! Did it ever occur to anyone that when someone comes up with a good idea for iOS devices they’re doing 2 things: 1) They’re making their ideas PUBLIC!! Big mistake; 2) If Apple isn’t already thinking in the same direction, you just provided them with something the could MOST definitely innovate on! Mistake #2!!! The 30-pin connector is Apple’s bread & butter. They will NEVER put it in a position where competitors can steal the actual IP. If they did, knock-off/copycat competitors would actually know how they work (integrate) with Apple products & could improve their own designs. Having a controller work over bluetooth is a major FAIL!!

  • SbMobile

    When Apple makes a “hardware” game-controller, it will a part of their overall AppleTV/game strategy. I think they’re waiting for the next step in internet/network connectivity in the form of 4G/LTE. Once their is a consistent & “HOT” signal + all iOS devices working with “A5” (dual-core) & “A6” (quad-core) chips, Apple will own the technology business, completely!!