• Author arn
  • Posted On2011-07-11 20:51:32
  • News

The long awaited iControlPad is finally shipping. We last reported on this iPhone-controller in February when they began accepting pre-orders for the device. As proof, they've sent us a review unit that we just received today.

The device works like the iCade by emulating a Bluetooth keyboard. This should make it easy for developers to add support for the add-on device. We'll have a full hands on report of it shortly.

  • Mr Dr Professorjr

    ...about as portable as a psp.
    And no shoulder buttons.
    Wonder how this review is gonna go.

    • Mrsmartiepants

      Better than your half baked comment, that's for sure.

    • http://toucharcade.com blakespot

      It has buttons on the backside. Not "shoulder" buttons, but buttons on the back. FYI.

  • Anonymous

    Heh... the maker doesn't know that the cross button is nintendo trademark... hey nintendo, release the Kraken!

    • Mrsmartiepants

      The maker of this has made several other devices with that button that are actually intended to allow you to play emulated nintendo games as a main use, and no lawyering yet.

    • Adams Immersive

      My Logitech Mac gamepad has the same layout (since it basically mimics a PS2).

      • Anonymous

        @Mrsmartiepants also: I might be mistaking, the button is not actually a cross, but a cross on top of a disc, so there is no case :). Ma' bad!

      • http://twitter.com/stuartcarnie Stuart Carnie

        Exactly, it is actually a disc with a traditional dpad moulded on top.

  • scorpiomaster

    Awesome cant wait to see the review!

  • MangoMan

    LAME. Just buy PS Vita if you wann play games.The games are crap on the iTouch.Its only good for music.Just my observation.

    • backtothis


    • SMP

      Then why are you on this site? Go to the PSBlog or another PS site, besides the Vita is still aways off, so that helps nobody.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MR4IKQCBWIP6JHMN2FT562MGLI Web

      Do you read toucharcade for the music reviews, then?

      • HisDivineOrder

        So I'm not the only one?

    • Sol

      Thank you for opening my eyes. I've been using an iPod Touch for years and reading this site for a long time but now that you mentioned how good the PS Vita will be when it eventually comes out, I will start saving my money for that. If only fans of Sony products had their own sites on the internet... Until that day, keep telling everyone on this iOS games site how much better PS Vita is going to be.

    • Anonymous

      Please, don't ever vote -- ever.

    • Asd

      Call me when sony doesn't make their own hardware obsolete with more horrible choices. You're really going to buy a vita after what they did with the psp go? You're smart.

  • Adams Immersive

    This has promise. But I’m more excited for whatever follows it: whether from the same company or another, improving on the concept while remaining key-compatible with the same games! But you have to start somewhere, and this is a neat option to have out there.

  • EricSapp07

    Would have been much better suited in a clam shell design.

  • Anonymous

    It's amusingly hideous. Looks like a prop from ALIEN (1979).

    • Sol

      You say that it looks like something out of Alien like that's a bad thing.

      • spidey

        he didn't say it was bad. He said it was "amusing". I kind of agree there.

  • Handintoaster

    for it to work it needs a jailbreak and you would need an emulater with games wouldnt that be pirating? i thought toucharcade was against that only cause they warned me not to talk about it

    • Injuwarrior

      Nope. as I understand it, it will be like the icade where devs just have to add support for it in their games. Is it rechargeable or requires batteries I wonder. Starting to feel like I had kicked the battery habit. Oh the gameboy days. 

      • HisDivineOrder

        Wish it had a rechargeable battery that could extend the power supply of the iPod Touch/iPhone and perhaps route the sound through stereo speakers and allow for another headphone jack at the bottom.

        That'd be hot.

      • Subgenious

        Lucky for you it does! There is a rechargable battery inside (I think 1350mAh, but don't quote me on that) and it can easily be connected to your idevice while in use. I more than double my gaming time when I use the internal battery which has been great for long flights.
        Overall this has been exactly what I wanted for my iphone. Emulators finally work like they are supposed to, and mainstream (non jailbroken) games are close on the horizon now that the SDK is getting ironed out.

  • John

    love the retro look

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MR4IKQCBWIP6JHMN2FT562MGLI Web

    I don't understand how the analog nubs would work if this is mapped to a keyboard.

    • Michaelliu00

      It most likely works by emulating the appropriate keystrokes when the nub faces the specified direction. 

    • http://twitter.com/stuartcarnie Stuart Carnie

      It is documented using and encodes the x/y positions of the nubs in a byte stream of ASCII characters.

  • http://toucharcade.com blakespot

    Such a ghetto photo.

  • spidey

    How about multi-device compatibility? I suppose we will reach fifth generation touches and iPhones before we get a decent number of games that use this control pad...

    This does seem practical enough... even if it is rather ugly.

  • Dug From The Earth

    Does it have the ability to replace the crappy on screen touch D-pads in many ported games? IE: you got a legit copy of secret of mana for the Iphone, and want to use this controller instead of using your fingers on the screen to move around? Or is it just for games that originally expected there to be a controller to work, like any game using an emulator?

    • Stevenmilligan

      ATM, no. It would only be compatible with games that use the SDK. 

  • HisDivineOrder

    Very interested in seeing a list of games that are going to support it.  If they could pay some top tier dual stick shooters, Gameloft, and EA to support it, this thing could be pretty hot.

    Assuming it doesn't cost more than $20.  (Still, I'm sure it does.)

    • Stevenmilligan

      It's $70.

  • ha ha

    it is so true.i have been waiting for good ios games and they all suck when compared to the psp overall so imagine the sony vita...iphone 4 should run gta san andreas,kingdom heaerts ,soul calibur,a real retina 3d metal gear, a real 3d street fighter 4 ,a decent looking nhl,marvel vs capcom3 in 3d,a racing,combat ,rpg and sports game using unreal 3 or better but nooooooooooooooooooooo. people we get half ass games . i ll trade my iphone 4 for a sony vita and hack it so i can make calls using 3g or sim.gaming wise the i device is decent but compared to the other portable consoles ,it sucks

    • Asd

      Consoles are not portable. Troll harder.

  • Decoy Octopus

    Theres way too much effort going in to turning the iphone into something it's not.

  • Anonymous

    This is undoubtedly the ugliest piece of kit I have ever seen.

    • Guest

       Really? Uglier than this?

       I think you are being emotional and speaking with your heart here. Maybe because you  think that if this thing succeeds,the idea of a "touch screen- buttons- free device" that only plays "simple and inovative" games will fall appart. You should not fear. Appstore is and will still be for many years the n1 place for casual stuff. Just let it be

      • Anonymous

        Way, way uglier than that. But you're right, I was exaggerating. That's what people do when they want to truly emphasise their feelings, and the iControlPad is freaking hideous.

  • Calindo

    the idea is hot, but it all comes down to legit game support... if it will be compatible with commercial games and replace the virtual sticks ( sometimes the control is awkward), it could be a must buy. But if it will be left to emulators alone, i don't think i'm going to buy it. However, Apple should begin to realize that if they want to define ipod touch/iphone as a console, they can't skip on the controller question much longer. The dpad is  honestly not as terrible as i thought at the beginning (for some games, like cards, it's awesome), but for other kind of games ( eg arcade game, FPS, recing) it loses a lot in terms of precision and feeling. Playing SFIV with dpad, although is one of the best dpad out there, is a shame.
    Just my piece of mind, though.

  • http://twitter.com/teknikal69 P Allen

    I'd consider it if it contained a huge battery I think the devices need that even more than the controls for good gaming. I'm definitely waiting on the Vita myself for serious portable gaming it looks to be the best thing to come from Sony in years.

    • J Paris

      It DOES contain a huge battery that powers the iPhone.

      • J Paris

        Whoops. Doesn't power it. Just powers the battery... eep.

  • Jay Mandla

    Tactile controls + additional screen real estate + Additional Battery life = Win!
    It does ugly though.....

  • Klaus

    When this is a "kind" of bluetooth keyboard, I hope that the developers are using "logic" keys like the cursor keys or 8,4,2,6 or a,s,d,w and space for fire, you know? So it will also be possible to use the apple-bluetooth keyboard to control games and game developers had to implement the controls only once and gamers could use whatever they prefer (iControlPad or Bluetooth keyboard! 

  • Rothgarr

    I can't help but to think that something like this will really only get a lot of developer support if Apple designed, produced, and sold it. Not to mention it would probably be way slick and compact.

  • Dh

    I am glad that some kind of pad is actually being made like this, it does look rather fugly though but at least one is now finally out there as an option.

    If it turns out well and get's supported I hope they make a more slim smaller model instead of what looks like a box.

  • http://twitter.com/MarkEightThree MarkEightThree

    It's not as ugly as some people are making it out to be, but I still believe that unless Apple releases their own first-party 'controller' add-on most devs won't get behind the idea. Imagine if [and this is a BIG imagine] Apple created their own lock-on peripheral that enabled the iPhone to be Playstation Certified like the Xperia Play.

  • Shar

    looks like a rectangle piece of poo that has been ironed out flat and sold.

  • Ujn Hunter

    If this works... or if Apple would just release an official one... I might actually be willing to pay more than $0.99 for iPhone games!

  • http://www.gadgetoid.com Gadgetoid

    Two of these, plus a jailbroken iPad 2 running DisplayOut, a handful of emulators and a big TV for good measure, are a dangerous amount of fun.

  • http://www.gadgetoid.com Gadgetoid

    Two of these, plus a jailbroken iPad 2 running DisplayOut, a handful of emulators and a big TV for good measure, are a dangerous amount of fun.

  • Guest

    It's all going to come down to the SDK. If they make it almost as easy as a recompile to include, then every indie dev is going to say "why not?". The larger devs would eventually cave in also, if their lawyers don't balk at the SDK's licensing terms. If the SDK were a complete game input solution - giving away a faster way to write the usual OSD along with zero-effort support for this and the iCade - then it will catch on.

    Unless Steve says no.

  • Networkingyuppy

    Ouch this is really expensive. $70 for a control pad?