The success of the touchscreen device as a gaming platform shows that physical buttons are not required to offer a compelling user experience. Still, sometimes physical tactility and feedback would indeed be a welcome addition, and it is for just such occasions that the PhoneJoy Play has been developed, offering an adjustable gamepad which sports near-universal support for iOS, Android, and desktop computers.
PhoneJoy Play connects to devices via Bluetooth, and developer PhoneJoy promises compatibility with almost all Android and iOS smartphones, including even Samsung's sizable Galaxy Note II. In addition, PhoneJoy Play can also be configured to work with Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows PCs.
PhoneJoy Play will extend to fit smartphones and related devices up to 153 mm (6 inches) wide, and 14 mm (0.5 inch) thick. Once duly extended, the outside measurements of the controller are 255 x 87 mm (10 x 2 inches) and it weighs roughly 250 grams (9 ounces).
As far as the actual controls are concerned, there are dual pressure sensitive analog sticks, three LED indicators and 14 programmable buttons to keep your digits busy. Also, an on-board rechargeable battery should be sufficient for up to 20 hours play, and the Bluetooth 3.0 standard supports a maximum range of 30 feet.
The usefulness of devices like PhoneJoy Play largely depends on compatibility with existing software. On this note, over 300 iOS titles are supported thanks to the iCade and Jailbreak-only BluTrol standards. As far as Android is concerned, the company states that many games and emulators work, and that the majority of Android touch controls can be ported to the controller with the use of third party apps. Finally, desktop computers gain support thanks to the HID Bluetooth standard.
PhoneJoy is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to bring the PhoneJoy Play to market, and a minimum pledge of US$50 is required to snag a unit in arctic white, jet black, or an as yet unspecified user voted color.
The pitch video below provides additional details.