Jun 7, 2012
Nyko has announced at E3 a new pair of controllers for Android, that come with a software feature that will greatly bolster the usefulness of the controllers.
The Nyko PlayPad and PlayPad Pro are Bluetooth controllers that will connect to Android 3.0 and greater devices, with a focus on tablet support. The PlayPad Pro is similar in design to an Xbox controller, with two analog sticks, a d-pad, four face buttons, 2 shoulder buttons, and 2 shoulder triggers. The regular PlayPad is designed for portability, versus the PlayPad Pro being designed more for home use. The PlayPad is smaller, comes in a carrying case, with a tablet stand to make playback easier. The button layout appears to be similar, with only the triggers possibly removed or modified in this incarnation.
Now, there’s apparently a tantalizing feature in the works through an app called Playground that will greatly expand the use of these controllers. According to our own Jeff Scott, who got to test the controllers at E3, users will be able to take a screenshot of a game, and then use Nyko’s software to configure the controller’s buttons to on-screen commands by dragging commands to where the on-screen buttons are. With this feature, it means that the list of games that could use these controllers is hypothetically unlimited, although naturally, some games will work better with the controls than others. Nyko will offer pre-set profiles for some popular games as well.
However, Nyko is working to get their controls supported directly in some games through a partnership with Nvidia. Some games offered through TegraZone will come with native support for the PlayPad controllers. There’s also the possibility that games that already use Android’s built-in controller support, such as Grand Theft Auto 3, will be supported by the PlayPad contorllers out of the box.
Nyko’s PlayPad and PlayPad Pro are set to hit this fall, with the Playground app set to hit around the same time. We hope to have more on these controllers later this year.