Electronics giant Samsung revealed today (Dec. 17) the new design for its Smartphone GamePad, which will work with Android phones via Bluetooth, allowing console-like controls for your mobile games. The prototype design shown in March was white with colored buttons that resulted in a design reminiscent of the Xbox 360 controller, even down to the particular shape of the D-pad. With the redesign, the GamePad is now black and sleek.
Beyond the color, the top of the GamePad's analog sticks have been changed to a concave shape, and the d-pad now closely resembles the analog sticks. The colored buttons that had been labeled A,B, X, Y are now labeled with white dots on a black background, similar to numbers on a die or a domino. Even the overall form factor has been modified away from an Xbox controller's shape.
The Smartphone GamePad connects with Android phones via Bluetooth, with Samsung stating it can attach to devices from 4 to 6.3 inches large. Android 4.1 or higher is required. Samsung's Galaxy phones will pair with the GamePad automatically via NFC (near field communication). Samsung has not released a price or launch date for the U.S., but has stated it is already available in some European countries.
To coincide with the GamePad, Samsung also has a Mobile Console app that spotlights games compatible with the controller. A "play" button at the center of the GamePad will take you straight to the app. It features 35 games at launch, such as "Need for Speed: Most Wanted," "Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour," "Virtua Tennis" and "Prince of Persia." The company promises more games will come to the app in 2014.