Samsung is apparently working on a gamepad that lets you turn a smartphone or small tablet into a handheld gaming console. It’s basically an Xbox-style gamepad with an adjustable clip to hold your phone or tablet.
Engadget got a chance to check out a prototype recently, and says Samsung doesn’t have a name or price for the device yet, but plans to release it this summer.
It’s a Bluetooth controller which runs on AAA batteries and which features pretty much all the buttons, analog sticks, and D-Pads you’d expect from a controller designed for a video game console.
Of course at this point most Android games are designed for touchscreen controls, not physical buttons. But there are some key advantages to this type of controller — not only can you feel what you’re doing without looking at your fingers (and taking your eyes off the action), but your thumbs don’t obscure part of the screen every time you need to trigger an action.
With a growing number of devices such as the Ouya and GameStick consoles designed to bring Android gaming to the TV, it’s also possible that we could soon see more Android games that are really optimized for this type of controller.
Or maybe Samsung just figures you’ll install a PlayStation or GameBoy emulator on your phone.