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GameKlip pairs real controllers to smartphones

August 6, 2012

One of the main complaints about gaming on a smartphone is that you just can’t play a “normal” game on a smartphone just with touch controls, because the experience is too poor and it’s too hard to play this way. Sony tried to solve this problem with the Xperia Play, but the problem was they didn’t want it to compete too much with their upcoming PS Vita back then, and they didn’t put hardware that is worthy of gaming on that device.

Another problem with the Xperia Play is that trying to put a controller inside a phone made it too thick and even awkward to use for most people, so it was only really a niche device, that only big mobile gaming fans would get. But since it didn’t have powerful gaming hardware, they weren’t that interested in it either, which is why the Xperia Play didn’t fare too well in the market.

GameKlip is trying to solve the lack of controllers in the mobile space from an accessory point of view. They are building “clips” that can pair together a smartphone and a PS3 controller, so you can hook any smartphone to your controller. When you need to have the full experience of playing a game on your mobile device at home, while also being unencumbered by a controller when you take the phone out with you.

You can use the controller wirelessly through Bluetooth with the Sixaxis Controller app from the Play Store, but you need your phone rooted for this to work. You can also use a wired controller without rooting the phone, but this application is only reported to be working with the Galaxy S3 so far.

While this is a bit disappointing, I think the biggest part is that the GameKlip is not adjustable like some of those GPS holders are. I think this is a big oversight as people change their phones all the time and they don’t want to have to buy a different GameKlip every time they buy a new phone.

Fortunately, the price for a GameKlip is not that high, with the wireless version costing $15 and the wired one $23 (plus shipping). But I still think making the GameKlip adjustable should’ve been a no-brainer, and not that hard to do. The GameKlip  team is also preparing a version for the Xbox360 controller, and they also have a prototype for 7″ tablets, most notably, because of the popularity of the Nexus 7.