04
Jun
nyko1
Last Updated: June 5th, 2012

Nyko, best known for making the slightly less solid and slightly less expensive console controllers you buy to save money, is getting into the Android game. Literally. Working with mobile gaming force of nature, NVIDIA, the peripherals company aims to bring "physical and familiar controls" to tablet games that run on NVIDIA processors, including, but more importantly not limited to, the Tegra 3.

nyko2 nyko1

The PlayPad in a variety of colors (left), and the PlayPad Pro (right).

Beginning in Fall 2012, the company will begin selling two different controllers. The PlayPad will be the smaller of the two and feature a collapsible tablet stand and carrying case, making your tablet every bit as portable of a gaming rig as a Virtual Boy. The PlayPad Pro is a bit bigger, offering some trigger buttons for extra controls. Both controllers work via Bluetooth and on any Android 3.0+ devices. Hopefully, by the time these devices come out, "Android 3.0+ devices" will be more than 10% of all Android devices out there.

If you don't have a Tegra 3 device, or a game you love isn't officially supported, don't worry. Nyko has you covered. The company will also be introducing an app called Playground that will allow backwards compatibility to apps that support keyboard mapping, touch mapping, and mouse support. The app will allow full customizability, while also bundling some presets for high-profile games. No word on which games will be supported, either directly or via Playground, yet, but with NVIDIA support, hopefully it will be a decent library of games.

Nyko is also keeping mum on pricing or availability beyond "Fall 2012," though the company's site does have a retail location finder that currently returns zero results, so we can expect that we'll see them in some stores. We'll be keeping an eye out for these devices when they get here. The Zeemote got us (and at least a thousand of you) excited about third-party controllers, but so far developers haven't been quite as enthusiastic about the idea as we'd like. With Nyko and NVIDIA pushing for it, hopefully we'll see more growth in the Android-as-a-console market.

Source: Nyko (1), (2)

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • BlackGod

    YES! WOOOOO!

  • Rob

    Onlive has had a universal bluetooth controller available for quite some time.

    • Zerounodos

      And the iControlPad's been for sale for a while...Gametel's pad soon to be here as well... And I don't quite like the Zeemote...

  • Faris Hanafi

    This ,plus the Google tablet would make a great combo.Can't wait for noth of them to start shipping!

  • http://twitter.com/sakura_candy Lumi

    Why is it the Xbox layout... To be fair, why did Microsoft swap the letters? It's really confusing.

  • Marc

    I remember the Virtual Boy, what a hot, angry mess that was.

  • ty. b.

    I just don't think tablet gaming is where it needs to be, or will ever make it to where it needs to be for that matter, for a tablet-controller to be a success.  Tablet gaming is lack luster (in my experience) at best.  If I want to play games, I go to my Xbox or my PC.

    • Rob

      I agree. I don't play many Android games, but i do use my tablet with the Onlive service, and there are other cloud gaming services on the horizon, so a controller is beneficial in that aspect.

  • http://twitter.com/rdlf2048 Rodolfo Ferreira

    No thanks. Already picked mine. It's from this site: http://www.phonejoy.us/
    I don't care whether or not Nvidia has anybody covered. It's amazing how you guys see Nvidia as the good guy, they are fragmenting the Gaming environment on Android and this is enough reason for me to hate them, although I own a OG Transformer from Asus (TEGRA 2) so we suffer with games 'only for' TEGRA 3 (that 'only for' rings any bell? Yeah.. Console-cold-war. Nvidia made us a 'favor' and 'ported' that 'feature' onto Android as well).

  • GBGamer

    Just buy a bloody Sixaxis controller. At least they look nice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Kehrl/54303073 Jason Kehrl

    I enjoy my phonejoy as well. And it's available now and supports android and PC currently. I believe they're developing support for iOS