Game-Gripper Will Bring Real Controls to Smartphones
It looks like the iControlPad may be getting some real competition, real fast. Game-Gripper is a new concept for adding real gaming controls to smartphones via a universal clamp-on hardware game pad. To ensure compatibility with as many devices as possible, the Game-Gripper attaches to your phone via a spring-loaded clamp to hold the device in place, and it relies on Bluetooth connectivity rather than physical I/O ports so there's no need to worry about which phone you have. The website flaunts a number of Android phones, apparently already compatible with the device, as it relies on industry-standard Bluetooth HID profiles to remain friendly with just about any phone. iPhone compatibility is mentioned here-and-there, but no solid claims are made, as compatibility with individual games and emulators relies solely on the developer's willingness to implement support for it.
However, you shouldn't expect the Game-Gripper to start shipping right away. The Game-Gripper team is using a service known as Kickstarter, which offers a way for prospective start-ups to connect with potential customers and allow them to place down monetary "pledges," to get people interested in the device. Mass production will not even begin until at least $30,000 have been raised from these pledges, and your $47 pledge will grab you your own Game-Gripper if the $30,000 mark is reached. If not, you aren't charged anything. Unfortunately, the future looks somewhat bleak--as of this writing, only 8 individuals have pledged, and the mark must be reached by March 2 at 1:42 AM EST. With enough support, however, you could unleash your phone's entire gaming potential and make this a reality.
Some notable comparisons with the iControlPad: the Game-Gripper seems to be a 100% universal device, while the iControlPad looks like it will require different side clips depending on the phone, and the iControlPad seems to be significantly larger, which may be a detractor for those who pack lightly on-the-go. However, iControlPad has a built-in battery pack to extend the life of your phone while playing those notoriously-battery-consuming games, while the Game-Gripper does not physically connect to the phone at all. The iControlPad also sports dual analog sticks, a feature not found on the Game-Gripper. When it comes down to it though, the biggest factor in choosing a game controller for your phone will be developer support for it. Hopefully, for those popular games by developers not interested in supporting controllers, we will see Cydia tweaks adding controller support to them.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zw0LXyvHHXw]YouTube - The Bluetooth Game Gripper[/ame]
Game-Gripper's Kickstarter pledge page