Plenty of companies are releasing controllers designed to bring a more traditional gaming experience to smartphones. Samsung, one of the most popular creators of Android devices, is aiming to grab a piece of the controller pie for itself with the introduction of the GamePad.
Samsung, in spite of being a company that produces phones itself, made a smart call in not limiting the usage of its GamePad to just its own devices. Instead, it has built its controller with support for any Android device running JellyBean 4.1 or later, with screen sizes between 4 and 6.3 inches. However, Samsung also says that it is optimized for Samsung devices running Android 4.3, because of the NFC pairing.
As for controls, the GamePad features an 8-way d-pad, two analog sticks, four action buttons, two triggers, Start and Select buttons, and a special Play button. The two analog sticks are offset, in a very Xbox-like design.
The Play button is designed for users to quickly jump to Samsung's Mobile Console app, where they can play and buy games that support the GamePad controller.
The GamePad is available now select in European markets, and Samsung plans to roll it out in additional regions in the coming weeks. The company didn't announce exactly where else it would be launching nor did it release pricing information for the device.