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Abandon virtual controls for the 60beat GamePad

Sections: Controllers, Gaming News, Gear, Handhelds, iPhone & iPod Touch & iPad

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Virtual gamepads are so frustrating. Not only are they uncomfortable and sometimes imprecise, but when you’re using it you’re blocking the screen. They’re a necessary evil though, which means we’re stuck with them. That is, unless you decide to grab a 60beat GamePad, plug it into your iOS device’s headphone jack and use that to play your games.

Yes, the 60beat GamePad is a new iOS accessory that actually allows you to use a full controller with all of your handheld games. Which sort-of defeats the whole portable and handheld thing, since a GamePad would be a bit difficult to carry, but nonetheless! It doesn’t require batteries – all you need is a headphone jack. You plug the audio splitter into the jack, so you can still listen with headphones and use the GamePad and start playing. The controller gives you two analog sticks, a D-pad, two shoulder buttons and four action buttons to work with.

There are only two things that make the GamePad seem unappealing. First is the compatibility issue. While the 60beat GamePad will work with any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, it currently doesn’t work with every iOS game. It only works with Aftermath, a $1.99, third person, zombie shooting game, and Bugdom 2, a $2.99 port of an old Windows and Mac adventure game. 60beat is promising that more games will support the GamePad next year.

But even then, compatibility wouldn’t be too big a problem, especially with more games on the way, if the price were reasonable enough. Except the 60beat GamePad price is a little high. You’ll pay $49.99 for one. That puts it on par with console controllers.

Still, the 60beat GamePad is something to keep in mind and could be an accessory with a promising future. Especially if more games are updated so they’ll work with it and perhaps if the price drops. It seems like the sort of thing both iOS and Android gamers would need.

Read [Engadget] Product Page [60beat]

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