Samsung gamepad accessory could turn phones, tablets into portable game consoles

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.

Samsung GamePad

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.

  • Josh

    It’d be nice if it can take rechargeable batteries and you charge the device via USB.

    • crashsuit

      …with a pass-through that allows you to charge the phone off the controller’s batteries, and when you plug the controller’s charger in, you can recharge both at once.

      • Moe

        Hopefully, the gamepad’s batteries would be large enough to charge the phone’s batteries.

        Also, anyone know if USB gamepads work on Android using OTG cables?

      • crashsuit

        Sometimes. I’m no expert, but I’ve looked into it a bit myself, and I believe the answer dependings on which phone you’re using, what OS version it’s running, what game you’re playing, the exact model of gamepad, and whether or not you’re connecting the gamepad through a powered hub.

      • digiowl

        Should work with 4.x.

  • noone

    Hmm given that it’s bluetooth, there might be a market in building shims into this for iPhones… Writing an API to handle the button input wouldn’t be hard at all.

  • strider_mt2k

    Maybe they will come out with a key mapping utility for it?
    That method seems to work on the Gametab 2

  • Joey

    Take my money samsung. Im buying it once this hits the market. Games on android will soon be more like the ouya. I cant wait. It looks awesome

  • ebbflowgo

    … It already exists?

  • el gordo

    or just use a wii controller and wii controller ime?