With it being extremely doubtful that Apple will ever roll out any kind of official game controller for use with iPhone and iPad, it's up to third-party creators and wizards to fill in the gap. 60beat is the latest we've seen to throw a hat into the ring, and its product, the GamePad, seems like a cool accessory.

In a nutshell, the $50 GamePad is a slick-looking, PlayStation-style kind of controller that connects, unlike many third-party controllers, to the headphone jack. No bluetooth black magic -- just seemingly straight-up plug-and-play connectivity.

It features of total of ten buttons, two joysticks, a d-pad, and ships with an audio splitter and a luxuriously long four foot cable. We haven't had any hands-on with one quite yet -- it's in the mail -- but creator 60beat has uploaded a video of the thing in action. Take a look:

Looks cool, right? The biggest hurdle for the GamePad -- other than being a good and meaningful product, of course -- will be grabbing the attention of the iOS development community. It apparently requires some game-side tweaks to work properly, so 60beat and its friends will have to collaborate. As of this moment, only two games support the device: Bugdom 2 [$2.99] and Aftermath [$1.99].

The official web site for the device says we'll hear a lot more about games support in February 2012. Expect more from us on the device in the future, too.

  • Anonymous

    I'm not sure I dig the comment "virtually no latency" - sounds a bit suspect to me and it's probably something to do with the bandwidth limitations of the port they're using, but give these guys some credit. The gaming community on iDevices have needed a decent joypad solution for a few years now. Kudos to them.
    I wish it was a tiny bit more compact, but I like the styling of the device and it looks comfortable. I would buy it.
    Now, question is... support...
    Maybe we could start a grass roots support forum, collect names and send them to EA and Chillingo? All they need are a few heavyweights on board for this to take off and start including their APIs in future games.
    FPS games will finally be playable!!!!

    • Tomas Andrle

      They should add support for this to the new GTA3 port. I'd buy it then.

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelMatzat Michael Matzat

    This is pretty interesting, i hope it works a bit quicker than some of the Bluetooth stuff.

    But i highly doubt apple will support controllers anytime soon. It´s about
    the vision of touch controls, if controllers became mandatory it would
    slow the innovation of, in this case, games. This might suck if you are
    into something like OnLive supported classic gaming, but if you think
    about it this would downgrade the iPad to a small screen with WiFi.
    If your at home anyway why not use your Console or Desctop PC? If your on the go, why bring a controler thats bigger than iPhone and iPad together?
    Even virtual sticks have gotten better of the past two years, the bigger Tablet PCs and smartphones get the more original games with original touch controls will come up... right now a lot of stuff is just remakes or based on the ideas of old games. :-) Sometimes it works, like with Monkey Island or Hector, sometimes you wish you controler back because your playing Sonic or Fifa.

    • http://twitter.com/MichaelMatzat Michael Matzat

      Don´t get me wrong, right now a good controler with lots of games that suport it would be great. I am just saing why apple is not going to aproach this and that they are not wrong doing so.

      • Anonymous

        Oh I agree with you completely. Apple's argument is that developers should be properly utilizing the device's unique features more effectively. That said, certain genres like FPS shooters almost require a joypad. But I was just thinking... If the latency on this device isn't bang on, it wouldn't make any difference anyway.

      • http://twitter.com/MichaelMatzat Michael Matzat

        Plaing a FPS on the iPad or with a controller is as insane as playing a RTS game with the iPad or with a controller. Some games are just to be played with a mouse and a keyboard and i don´t know why you would take these to a serius gaming level on the iPad, at least not in the classic sense of gameplay.

        If you use the gyro in an FPS like they did with the 360 degress Black Eyed Peas App (hang on, i don´t like them either, but the App is an interesting idea) and have maybe three buttons (shoot, walk, jump) it might work out but 95% of the people would be to lazy to play it (or are not interested in looking like ideots while doing it).

        You could even use it as a further game concept, like the iPad is not a First Person View but rather a Window to this world you are playing in (so it makes more sens that your dancing in your room with your iPad in your hands)

        But all you get are games that are trying to be Modern Warfare, Battlefield or Halo.

    • Anonymous

      "This is pretty interesting, i hope it works a bit quicker than some of the Bluetooth stuff."

      Have you ever used an iCP / iCade? They have absolutely no latency and perfect for even action games. It's not Windows Mobile...

  • Brian Johnson

    $50 for a gamepad!?   Are they insane?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Waiting for the 99¢ sale.

    • http://twitter.com/MichaelMatzat Michael Matzat

      Thats a pritty normal price for a new gamepad. The list price for a PS3 controler is 55US$ i belive, shure you can get it cheaper by now (35-45), but it´s been on the marked for years now.

      • Anonymous

        ...not even mentioning the native iOS game controllers (iCade / iCP) - they are considerably more expensive.

      • Brian Johnson

        The iCade is on closeout from Bed Bath & Beyond for $50.   I'm in the market for a 360 wired controller, going on ebay for ~$15. 

        $50 for just a gamepad seems a bit steep.   I guess the PS3 retail gamepad price puts it in perspective better, but I'm not surprised since that's Sony (and they have a history of jacking up prices on peripherals, Mem Stick Duo anyone?). 

  • http://twitter.com/pocketpcandgeek Masa

    We need more games compatible with this gamepad for iOS!

  • Anonymous

    The iOS community needs to come up with a standard set of instructions for gamepads so games can just write for one set and all devices can be used. Having games requiring to add support for certain gamepads is ridiculous and devices to certain games. Hopefully someone can come together and creat it before it gets more fragmented

    Also i really like this controller. Hopefully we'll see more of an Xbox 360 style controller in the future, it's a lot more confortable for 3D games

    • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

      I completely agree. Devs need to collectively support a controller. I shy away from 1st person shooters because of virtual controls. If there was a standard controller, I'd buy more games of this nature.

      • http://twitter.com/MichaelMatzat Michael Matzat

        The problem is that there is not good system of control yet. How would they all suport the same if everything is still lagy and what not?

      • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

        I noticed a slight lag in the video too, but it's not nearly as bad as other controllers we've been hearing about. And a direct connection will always be more reliable than Bluetooth. I'm sure with a little support, they'll be able to work things out and perfect the controls.

  • Anonymous

    You know that's the best effort I have seen so far. I will definitely support it for Mutant Storm, which is a duel stick shooter. I'm been actually thinking about the controls today and wished that there was something like this and now there is :) 

  • http://twitter.com/hackmodford Brandon Butler

    I like how he demonstrates "full analog" control but only moves the joystick up down left and right... no diagonals? No halfway between up left? I do believe him it's just funny. Pretty clever using the mic input for a joystick...

  • Anonymous

    So how does sound work? ...........or are we ignoring that noisy elephant over there?

    • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

      It says it comes with an audio splinter, so I guess you will need to use headphones with this controller.

  • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

    I really like the direct connection through the headphone jack (Bluetooth is always such a pain) and the controller design looks great. No batteries is a plus and the price is very reasonable too. I'll buy one if more devs support it.

    I look forward to the hands-on review.

  • Anonymous

    does any ios game support this controller or is it developer/publisher/game dependent?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cassiethechaoticcupcake Cassie Goodwin

    I really like this little contraption. Sure, it's going to need some kinks worked out, but hopefully it will make other third-party creators more motivated to work on their own. However,  do agree that there should be some universal format to go by. If it had more of a game market available, I'd be really inclined to buy one of these controllers now, but as it stands, I think I'll sit it out until the next version is released (or another company comes out with one better suited for me).
    What I'm really hoping comes from this is that it grabs the attention of the developers (big-name ones at that), and it becomes popular. Given that it's near in the future of iDevice gaming, I feel that if a lot of people got on board with this, bigger publishers that once-refused to be associated with the App Store and iDevices might give it a second thought. It's a chance for our gaming market to expand (even more so than it does every day) and finally see some titles we otherwise wouldn't have.
    Yeah, it might be a long shot, but a gamer can dream, right? ^.~

  • http://twitter.com/felixthekarl Karl Coley

    It just needs to work with more games. I don't mind the cable. The iPhone can sit next to me while it's being AirPlayed to the TV.

  • Anonymous

    I use a similar setup on my PC to connect a DX5i RC transmitter for RC
    planes and helis. It uses the mic input and the analogue controls are
    surprisingly accurate. Pretty much zero lag and full 360 degree movement.

    This could actually work quite well.

  • http://twitter.com/niksluijs Nik Sluijs

    I think I'll stay with my iControlPad. Usable for iOS games, Emulators, Mac/PC and way more portable. Love the idea of using the headphone input for a gamepad though!

  • Anonymous

    i'm with apple on this one (hate to say that), its an ipad/tablet, not a console/computer missing all the accessories.  

  • Mikko Kankainen

    While I don't really like the idea of lugging a separate controller with my portable device, I do enjoy occasional arcade gaming with a proper controller on my iPad. I've patched iMame4All and DOSPad to support my CoreMidiControl library which lets you hook up a PS2 controller to your iPad via Arduino based adapter (using MIDI as the transport layer for controller events). Works really well, but as with 60beat's solution (or iCade or iCP), the fact that you need special hardware/adapters and software is a major pain. Hopefully the Bluetooth 4.0LE support in iOS5 will change things for the better.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRedThingLtd The Red Thing Games

    Jumped onto this as it looks pretty cool. iDamaged will get 60Beat GamePad support in one of the coming updates and it was pretty easy to add the code for it. Can't wait for the pad to arrive in the post and try it out, tweak some variables and then submit an update.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Kenneth-Steele/681468466 Anthony Kenneth Steele

    they should support bluetooth keyboards and mice and gamepads for games.. COME ON!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Kenneth-Steele/681468466 Anthony Kenneth Steele

    there should be a gamepad that when plugged in takes you to a gamepad games section of ipad ... so it's like a separate entity