Last year we posted early details surrounding the forthcoming iPhone game controller accessory from 22moo, the GameBone, which will offer official iOS 4 support (read: no jailbreak necessary). The accessory-maker has recently posted additional details on the item to their website.

Features listed by 22moo:

  • 8-way D-pad (directional pad)
  • 4 action buttons
  • 2 shoulder buttons
  • Built-in 1600 mAh Lithium battery for additional power for your iPod touch / iPhone
  • Rear button and LED to check charging state and capacity
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Omnidirectional MIC
  • 3.5 audio headphone jack
  • Rear kick-stand
  • iDevice independent volume control
  • Charge and sync for all iDevices (except for the iPad)
  • Interchangeable core for compatibility with iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad devices

The company is currently in the process of finalizing the device's new PC board and updated case design for mass production. A new availability date will be announced in early October, so stay tuned.

Stuart Carnie of Manomio has indicated that the studio's C64 for iPhone will offer eventual support for the device when it hits market.

The GameBone will support the following iOS devices: 2G, 3G, 4G iPod touch, iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, and iPad.

  • Pachi

    YEah but will all developers support it?

    • jaytee

      I imagine many will. People had similar concerns about OpenFeint and whatever the other social gaming network was, but both had pretty extensive support. I figure most devs will continue making touch based games, but with the option of using the controller.

      • John

        supporting something that doesn't cost users any extra money is one thing(openfeint), but supporting something that 99% of users probably won't buy(a very specific limited access accessory) is a bit more of a stretch.

      • jaytee

        It doesn't really cost the developers anything to add support. A day's worth of coding? Less? I don't really see the downside for developers.

      • Adams Immersive

        I don’t have my game done yet (and these controls don’t even make sense for every game) but I will say that when it makes sense for the game, I will definitely want to support it! 🙂

        Obviously you wouldn’t make a game that needs it. But supports it? Sure!

        In fact, if it takes off at all (big if) then this is one feature that might help your game stand out among certain buyers. After all, how many features go into a game just to appeal to one small segment? Plenty—that happens all the time.

    • AmazingRuss

      If they sell decently, and work well, we'll support them. Those are pretty big ifs. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on one, though.

  • Michael

    This would certainly make platformers like "Frogatto" easier, and if "Hybrid 2" is compatible with this, it's a definite buy for me... Plus, the extended battery life will help a lot for on-the-road stuff.

  • Chris

    We'll see how this goes over with game developers.

    • Chocolate

      Did you read this on the Gamebone site:

      "Apps with GameBone support

      With already over 1500 registered independent and commercial developers including - Activision, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Freeverse, Gameloft, id software, Konami, Manomio, Namco, PopCap Games, Sega, Take 2 Interactive, Ubisoft, Velvet Games and many more - there is no doubt that support for the GameBone could become a standard addition to many current and future iOS apps."

      • Mister Mumbles

        I guess we'll just have to wait and see. If that's really going to be the case, it would certainly be a great boon for iGaming.

  • jaytee

    How does it work with iPad?

    • Yrogerg212

      Looks good. At least it's more useful than that stupid pinball accessory... I just wish that they would get rid of something relatively useless like the mic and use the extra money to put in an analog stick... and there is no way this is an iPad accessory. Nice try, guys.

      • Yrogerg212

        Fiddlesticks. Ignore this.

      • Chris

        I think the mic was put on the assumption that all iPod Touch models following the 3rd generation would NOT have a built in mic. Little did they know, FaceTime arrived and iPod Touch got one as well two cameras. At least it helps out us 1st to 3rd generation iPT users (Voice CO-OP ftw).

  • strang

    I wish they added analog nubs and trigger buttons.

    No seriously. How do you expect me to play a shooter on this setup?

  • Ravenblack

    How will dual stick shooters play on this thing which only has one d-pad?

    • Chocolate

      Have you never used a controller with buttons in a diamond layout (i.e. SNES, PS1/2 etc.)? It works perfectly as a second dpad for dual stick games.

    • John

      dual stick shooters controls are fine as is on the iphone, this is for games that require a d-pad i imagine.

    • Adams Immersive

      You could also use it by moving with the D-pad and aiming/firing with the touchscreen. New hybrid control schemes could be devised.

  • Chocolate

    I would definitely get this.


    The devs will adopt it, because many games would sell better if we had better controls. I know I shy away from action games with virtual dpad controls because they often annoy me. With this controller, many games could be much better.

  • Jeffyg3

    For the first gamepad for the iPhone, I think it should have included dual sticks for the more 3D the stick found on the PSP would have been sufficient. Kinda dissapointed they didn't go that route, I would have definitely bought one if it had.

    • Chocolate

      Yeah, I hear you, but that would also make it bigger. I'm just happy to get a dpad and buttons at this point. It's still tons better than what we have now in terms of tactile controls, which is nothing.

  • Josh

    Will not work with cases and coin to be hell working around the current array of devices. I would not buy this.

    • Chocolate

      Cases... do come off, you know?

    • jort

      yeah who puts a case on their ipod?

  • Fluffeh

    Kiiiindaaaa interested in this, especially with the mention of extended battery life. That said, it would've been an instabuy if it had dual sticks.

  • Ipadboy

    so this will be playable on all games? Plus, how will we use it to control most of the touch screen games? Will we be able to somehow cause a button to do what are fingers should be doing like on a game like Tap Tap?

  • amat_24

    if the developer could some how add button mapping option.
    each buttons could function as a simple tap (or touch) on a certain area on the screen.
    this way, (some) apps dont need to be modified to support the controller.
    it would be great on any of sega genesis' ports

  • Chris

    no analog... forget it

  • Logo148

    This may work well for 1st person and 3rd person shooters. For example on the psp the ratchet and clank games use the shoulder buttons to change the viewing angles

  • Corey

    Wow -I didnt know Sega still made the Game Gear. LOL

    • Skip

      Looks more like an Atari Lynx to me.

      I think I like the iControlPad better, but both of these things have been 'in development' for what seems like an age...

    • HipHopTouch

      hahahaha funny, that thing is ug-ly. People designing these devices need to realise we're all Apple heads... we love design, not bricks from the 80's and at best, the 90's..

  • Achy

    This will make the iDevices like a DS pretty much, if you can also use the touch controls when the controller is plugged into the device.
    Not sure how many people would pay over $50 for it though.
    It's obviously meant for hardcore games/gamers, so I'd like to see how successful it is.

  • JCat

    I've gotten accustomed to playing without a pad/buttons, and I love having iconic representation of what each function does (the beauty of a 'touch' device). I'd rather see a pic of a gun that that has to be pressed, then A = Gun.

  • Yrogerg212

    Looks good. At least it's more useful than that stupid pinball accessory… I just wish that they would get rid of something relatively useless like the mic and use the extra money to put in an analog stick… and there is no way this is an iPad accessory. Nice try, guys.

  • Jason

    What about the icontrol pad?

    How will this compare to the Gamebone controller? I'm going to wait until both are out, and read up on impressions and reviews.

    • Chocolate

      I like the dual analogs, but it's so ugly and bulky.

      I think 2 things will determine which of these control add-ons become successful:

      1) Get it to market so people can actually but it. Seems like some of these things have been in development forever already.

      2) Price. I don't think people will want to pay too much. I think $30 would be the sweet spot for price.

  • Fluffeh

    I just realized I have a major problem with the name...or is my mind the only one in the gutter?

    And to stay on topic, I'd pay about $25 for it if reviews were good.

    • Chris

      I guess maybe it depends on regional differences whether or not "Bone" is thrown around like that.

      For example, "rooting" an device has a different meaning in Aus/NZ.

  • Anonymous

    The Li-ion battery alone will likely drive this device cost to over $80 retail. The Mophie Juice Pack Air with 1200 mAh is already $80. Perhaps there is a market for those with devices with the internal battery on its last legs. You get the gamepad controls along with the battery hook up. Just a thought.

    • Matt

      I think it would be a better device without the battery also. Lighter and smaller and less expensive. Not sure why they've taken this route.
      That said, I would build in support for devices such as this.. if I ever make a game with a virtual d-pad!

      • Gload

        I love it because I use an external battery case, regardless of how good any phone battery because you never know when you might forget to charge it or burn the juice pretty hard (gaming or movies) and not near a place to re-charge.

        Having this case handle both is a boon for me so I don't have to switch cases.

  • Martin

    I'll learn circuitries and soldering and everything just to try to make my own! With two analouge, dpad, 4 buttons and two triggers ;D
    The Playstation way!

  • Kyle

    This is all going to depend on how easy it is to implement. If its something easy and most games can just add support I think it will do well. The 80$+ price point isn't such a big deal if this gets a huge following.

  • Jeffyg3

    The iControlpad looks like a much better product with analog sticks and the ability to support other devices. GameBone looks like the one to skip.

  • rudi

    i love touch control and the smartness of my ipotouch. i dont need such a controler. buy a psp or nintendo ds if you like physical controlers.

    • thebleeptruth

      Couldn't agree more.

  • wim dorpelsteen

    this may be nice for those oldskool arcade game ports that really don't work with touchscreen controls, but I'd rather see games that DO work with touchscreen controls! What's the point of adding tons of clunky peripherals to an already outstanding device?

  • Jas

    Utterly pointless. Why not just release an app instead that permits bluetooth to link to Wii, PS3 and XBox 360 controllers?

    99% of iDevice owners will already own one of these controllers.

    • SalsaMD

      Where do you get your data? I suspect your numbers are way off...

    • http://none Dave G

      how would you hold your screen and hold a controller at the same time? This comment about using game controllers makes no sense.

    • Matt

      I agree with Salsa. I don't have any of those devices. The beauty of the iPhone/iPod is they have a far wider gaming appeal than consoles. I've never owned consoles, played the odd PC/Mac games, but since getting an iPhone am far more into gaming than I ever have been.

  • cyberpyrot

    Im an old school hacker who did many things with the psp, ds and 360 controllers there is a big market for these types of devices. stuff like this are just enhancements to what is already an outstanding device. Personaly I will buy one with the hope it gets ported to all games and if it doesn't I will hack it so it does I dont understand why this thing needs to be adopted to work with the games by the developers there should be a TSR for it running in the back ground that takes the imput and makes the games believe it is touch input. Those of who dont know me I used to run a site called acidmods

  • Matt

    I like the idea of a snap on control pad, but the indentations on the side that make it look like a bone also look stupid and like it would be uncomfortable to hold. What was wrong with regular rounded sides? I think the icontrolpad looks better than this.

  • lutinvert

    cyberpyrot, i totally agree with the "make games believe these are touch controls"!!! i was dreaming of something like this the other day, but i have zero knowledge on how to implement it... plus it would probably have to be for JB only

    • cyberpyrot

      We have created microcontrollers that are able to read the potentiometer for a 360 controller and do a bounce back routine to mimic rapid pulses to the device it is completly possible to do this without compromising the device. you just have to think outside the box.

  • klouud

    Looks much better than original design and looks much better than iControl Pad.

  • E_Domina

    Yea, what's the point? we have the icontrolpad coming out in like next week. i know this has got some support for ios 4 but the jailbreak suppport is a lot better.

    • SDFQWraw

      Well for one thing: availability.

      As far as I know, the iControlPad is managed by craigix (?) who also manages the Pandora Handheld production (?). If its similar at all, they will use your pre-order money to produce the products. Of course it will be on a smaller scale, but as they are just enthusiastic hobbyists, production may still be slow. I'm not saying it won't be really cool though :).

      Also, the Gamebone looks like it's shoulder controls are much better.

      And we don't know how comfortable each is.

      I'd probably get an iCP myself, depending on developer recognition. On the other hand, if developers don't recognise it, I may get a Gamebone instead for emulators (I can't run psx4iphone or n64iphone).

  • Charles

    Won't buy. Must be very unconfortable with those damn bone-shaped ends. Goddamit, what a stupid design!

  • munkee

    AWESOME, will buy this day 1 since it doesn't require jailbreak like iControlPad. And it's not hideous like iControlPad too.

  • Kev

    I'm very interested in this. If I see developers supporting it, I will definitely be getting one.

  • thebleeptruth

    How the hell would the iPad version look like? If ever there was really one, it would likely look too big and bulky. Also, the lack of analog stick is a letdown. Somehow, despite the effort put to this, I strongly feel that this accessory won't sell well.

  • Steven

    There's dozens of games I've bought that are practically unplayable with touch controls, mostly rehashes of older titles. I'd hope a device like this would open the floodgates for developers of retro remakes.

  • NightHawk64345

    This will make my day if it is widely accepted by iPhone game developers, and they add an analog stick on the right side of the case.

  • Jebby Deringer

    I like the idea but I don't like the design. I'm happy if this will open up the possibility of using something like a wiimote or custom diy wired controllers which would be much more useful for an iPad.

    I find the touch controls are sufficient in a large portion of the games I play. There are some games I wouldn't have expected to be responsive like Monster Dash and others that are just plain bad. Having secondary controls would perhaps create an unfair advantage for leader boards.

  • Aeroflux

    You're going to announce a release date in October? If you've already missed an estimate, announcing the date in which you'll announce another estimate is pretty friggin redundant. I can't help but see a parallel between Duke Nukem Forever and the illusive iPhone game controller...with the exception that Duke Nukem Forever will probably come out first. No, I'm not joking.

  • Chaz

    Sweet. Worth picking up. I wonder what the pricing is though?

  • ZeroCorpse

    This would make the iPhone/iPod touch a much better gaming platform than either the PSP or the DS, considering all the other apps you can use, and the relative price of the games.

    As it stands, the iOS platform is excellent for gaming, and the only reason I ever touch my Dingoo A320 is to play games that require better controls, or to play games that don't have an App Store equivalent.

  • Jonmasterman

    yep... never released and MIA at the developers site 🙁