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Galaxy S4 gets official joypad

Newest Samsung smartphone launching next month will have eight-core processor, game-friendly accessory

Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4 smartphone at a press event in New York last night, with specs like an eight-core processor, 5-inch Super AMOLED screen, and lightest-to-date polycarbonate body. And as with any hyped hardware launch, Samsung has a full range of accessories lined up, including a new joypad controller.

With a layout similar to the Xbox 360 controller, the Samsung pad includes dual analog sticks, a d-pad, four primary face buttons, and shoulder keys. It pairs with the phone via Bluetooth, but also includes a cradle on top should users want to secure the phone above the pad for a configuration approximating a dedicated handheld gaming system.

There are a number of Bluetooth gaming pads on the market for mobile phones, but this will be Samsung's first crack at the market. And while the company is advertising the pad as a Galaxy S4 accessory, compatibility with other phones should be no problem as it will accommodate screen sizes from 4" to 6.3".

Samsung is rolling out a number of accessories for its new flagship smartphone, including wristband pedometers, wireless charging pads, a heart-rate monitor, and even a Bluetooth-compatible scale that works with the phone to track users' weight history.

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Latest comments (16)

Renaud Charpentier Game Director, The Creative Assembly3 years ago
That is a real game changer for the Android market.
A standard from the leader could make "pad only" proposals relevant, business wise. And so massively raise the quality of mobile action games.

Apple... your move?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Renaud Charpentier on 15th March 2013 5:48pm

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Joe Bognar Junior PR Manager, Techland3 years ago
This is a real game changer for the handheld console market as this will surely result in the end of an era. By the way, I don't actually think that this is a bad thing. I think it is time already. :) I'm really looking forward to Apple's next step too! :)
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Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games3 years ago
I still wish for a simple built in d-pad on all iOS and android phones, if someone ever figures out how to implement that on a non intrusive way. Not having your finger on the screen is priceless, and a touchscreen-pad just doesn't work well for many games.
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Show all comments (16)
Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
@ Joe 30 million and counting 3DS users say hi. They (we) are quite happy to spend a little more for much more robust, high-quality portable games with both a variety of control options AND a variety of content levels, business models, and high production value. ALl things mobile sorely lacks, and may never get due to the market's outright rejection of higher priced software.

That said, I still look forward to using this gamepad.
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Matt Walker Production Coordinator, Capcom3 years ago
@Nick -
While I share your sentiment that the 30 million 3DS users among us would rather play on that than on a mobile device (even when I buy iOS games I can't be bothered to play them), the vast majority of "normal people" (rather, non-hardcore gamers) seem to be quite content playing whatever is available on mobile.

For those people, mobile "sorely lacks" nothing. I have a feeling you and I are a dying breed (even though I'm a Nintendo fanboy!)...
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange3 years ago
I wouldn't call 30 million and rising a dying breed, more like breeding to me.

Nothing beats the convenience of having everything you need to game right in the machine. Virtual analog sticks won't do, they're clunky to use and very unresponsive at most, not to mention they eat up viewing space.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd3 years ago
I don't see why you can't have multiple markets for gaming. It's not like every game has to be mobile just because mobile hits the largest total audience. That would be silly (and sad). It's also not how any other medium works. Not all books are vampire sex novels, not all music is dancepop, and not all movies are blockbuster action films. Games can service a variety of markets and styles, and the 3DS does not appear to be going anywhere.
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Samsung should have bundled this with every unit sold. Then it would change things. As it is, I'm not even sure if I'll see these stocked in the store.

The problem is this controller has to be assumed to be there before developers can start making "real games" for these devices.

Now, if someone manages to port VITA games (or write an emulator), then things could get interesting. But as it stands, the vast majority of the content are still "mobile games".
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Saehoon Lee Founder & CEO, Pixellore3 years ago
Where is my shader model 3.0 support! :D
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Andy Samson QA Supervisor, Digital Media Exchange3 years ago
Does it have trigger buttons? I'd rather have triggers than shoulder buttons since they're more comfortable to use. I love that it uses standard triple A batteries but does this thing even have rumble? How long will the batteries last?
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
I don't see how this is suddenly an android game changer. Doesn't mean it will be adopted by a large number of consumers or that other manufacturers will do the same. I'll at most call it an interesting step with interesting potential, for now... The hunger for game controls on mobiles is high but it doesn't mean that anything will do or signal the new dawn for portable gaming.

Also, for an official accessory of such a sleek device, it does look a little cumbersome and lacking in some of the many years of controller re-design and innovation we've had, but that's just my observation.
Where is my shader model 3.0 support! :D
Is that a trick question?
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Tamir Ibrahim Programmer, Rodeo Games3 years ago
I can't see this changing anything. I'm a little surprised that it could be perceived as such. The vast majority of phone users wouldn't even consider buying this. If extra work is required for supported this then I can't see developers putting in the time (unless you're going for a niche product, which can be a very valid business decision of course), it's already difficult enough to get game developers to develop for Android.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus3 years ago
It's not about the majority of phone users. If you think this is a play for the casual market, they've already been got; they're already playing games with touch controls. This is aimed at the people like me, and Nick above, who are playing on their 3DSs, comfortably, and don't like mobile gaming too much because of the reliance on laggy and inefficient touch controls. If this works - and has software support behind it, like how the 360 controller is supported by virtually every PC game today - then it is a game changer as it brings the hardcores more into the fold. They're the ones who will be spending the money on premium.
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Farhang Namdar Lead Game Designer Larian Studios 3 years ago
Hey if I would get a smart phone I would get this one, however if I want to play games I'll do it on something else. This should kill some time on the train.
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Lewis Brown Snr Sourcer/Recruiter, Electronic Arts3 years ago
If we get one good quality title on Android using this I would spend 20-30 for a controller....problem is I won't buy one until said title appears, I guess a studio is going to have to take a risk on it....its a chicken and egg senario...
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Quincy Ward Studying Computer Science, University of Arkansas3 years ago
I think this is targetting hardcore gamers...casual gamers will say the Extrs controller is too much n will defeat the purpose of the play anywhere any time idea of a smartphone. casual gamers will see this as to much effort and run away. People who actuslly wanna game will look further into it

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Quincy Ward on 20th March 2013 8:56pm

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