GDC 2013: Nyko Keeps on Keeping On With the Playpad

GDC 2013: Nyko Keeps on Keeping On With the Playpad

Apr 4, 2013

Nyko is keeping on keeping on with their Playpad. While our initial review was not quite favorable, the controllers are still being worked on and promoted. The Nyko Playground app has been updated with a brand new interface, promoting games that support the controller, though interestingly they’re promoting every game with HID support, as their controller doesn’t have a specific API to use its basic functionality as with the MOGA and Green Throttle controllers. It means that they support more games than those with specific APIs. The advanced functionality is still there, just now not immediately featured.

So, what about the vaunted app for mapping touchscreen inputs to gamepad commands? Well, according to the Nyko representative I spoke to, that plan suffered a major problem when Jelly Bean released, as it changed the way that their software interfaced with virtual touchpad drivers. As such, they would likely need to have their own drivers that ship with Android in order to make it work reliably. So, don’t expect support for this feature very soon, if ever, at least not without rooting.

The update to Nyko Playground should be available soon on Google Play.

E3 2012: Nyko Announces New Android Controllers That Will Be Compatible With Just About Every Game

E3 2012: Nyko Announces New Android Controllers That Will Be Compatible With Just About Every Game

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.