Smartphones may not be as suited for gaming as traditional handhelds from Sony and Nintendo, but that isn't stopping iOS and Android from dominating the mobile games market in terms of revenue. A number of factors have contributed to this phenomenal growth, such as the high adoption rate of new smartphones and tablets, and the super cheap prices for quality titles compared to those for dedicated portable gaming systems.
But for all the convenience of smartphones and tablets, we can hardly say that relying on touch controls is ideal for gaming. With that in mind a company called 60beat has launched the 60beat GamePad, which connects through the headphone jack to enable console-like controls on your iOS devices.
It sports a similar design to Sony’s PlayStation 3 controller and the button configuration is rather similar as well -- there are a couple of analog joysticks, a D-Pad, 10 action buttons and 3 menu buttons. The GamePad draws power from your iDevice, eliminating the hassle of changing dying batteries and making it heavy to hold.
Games have to be programmed to support the new device and so far only 2 titles support it: Bugdom 2 and Aftermath. But the accessory maker says a "full collection" of supported games will be added in February 2012. The 60beat GamePad is priced at $49.99 and is compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
The iPad 2 improves on the original in many ways, including a significantly faster dual-core CPU, improved graphics and a thinner footprint. The iPad 2 also manages to shave off 0.2 pounds for a total weight of 1.33 pounds on the Wi-Fi only model. Apple has included two cameras on the iPad 2 – a VGA-quality front facing lens for FaceTime and a rear-facing camera capable of recording 720p video.
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