It isn't a surprise to us that 60beat's new GamePad controller made some major waves last week. It's a proper, corded controller with a full range of button and joysticks. Also, it requires zero technical savvy. Just plug it in and go.
This all sounds great... but since we still don't have a GamePad in our hands, we decided to quiz Pangea Software's Brian Greenstone about it. Pangea is behind Bugdom 2 [$2.99], which is one of the two games currently supporting the controller.
I asked him three questions. The first was what it was like to develop for the device, and if it was easy or hard. Greenstone's answer leaves us hopeful that other studios will pick up support, provided the GamePad sells well enough.
"It was very easy. All I had to do was add their SDK to my project, change my Audio Session type, and then make some basic calls to start the data flowing. Bugdom 2 already used a virtual gamepad in the game itself, so the code to work with that kind of control scheme was already in place which made things very easy.
I had it all up and running in less than an hour."
There are no developer or game limitations, by the way -- all the buttons and directional control work, straight-up. It sounds like voice-chat support is out, though, when the device is plugged in.
"No developer limitations other than the forced use of a particular Audio Session mode, but I don't think that would affect most games, unless there are games that require the microphone to be working. So, probably no voice-chat games.
The user limitation is just that having the gamepad plugged in causes the audio on the iPhone / iPad to go thru the audio jack. That means that you have to use the supplied splitter and listen to the game with headphones."
Greenstone said Pangea will continue to support the device if its successful and Bugdom 2 sees a sharp spike in sales. That sounds pretty reasonable.
We're looking forward to telling you all about this thing first-hand in the coming days. Come on, Mr. Postman!