Introducing Bladepad, the detachable iPhone gamepad

By , Aug 6, 2012

A few days ago we asked the question, “Should Apple build a game controller?” It was a pretty fair question, considering that the graphics in iOS titles are getting closer and closer to console-quality, but the gameplay isn’t.

We’ve seen several accessory-makers try to remedy this problem by building physical gamepads, but none of them have managed to gain consumer traction. The new Gamepad, however, is hoping to change that…

If you haven’t heard of the Bladepad, it’s a new iOS-compatible game controller that connects to your device via Bluetooth. It has two joysticks, a control pad, and four action buttons — very similar to most game controllers.

But Bladepad’s major selling point is that it’s extremely portable. It quickly attaches and reattaches to a special iPhone 4/4S case, so it’s available when you need it, and removable when you don’t. It’s also fairly thin for what it is.

Because the device uses Bluetooth 4.0, it doesn’t use much power. The Bladepad team estimates you’ll get  roughly 4 hours of continuous gameplay, which is decent compared to other handheld consoles. It uses a micro USB charger.

The big question is obviously developer support. The team says they are currently in talks with several major, and independent, game studios but cannot provide specifics. They do say, however, that we can “expect Bladepad to have the game support of a popular handheld console.” That’s good news, if they can follow through.

The Bladepad is currently just a Kickstarter project. The group behind it is trying to raise $55,000 by August 26th so they can begin mass producing these things. As of right now, they’re just under the $9000 mark.

If you’re interested, a pledge of $59 or more will score you your very own Bladepade. A deal, to be sure, as the accessory carries an MSRP of $99. There’s a few colors to choose from, and they hope to start shipping in December.

What do you think of the Bladepad? Does it have what it takes to go mainstream?

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  • notewar

    Finally…. with this gadget I can now be god-like in street fighter volt!!!

  • محمد العدواني

    thanks jeff

    i need one of these pad .

    waiting december …

  • Syazwan Zainal

    Honestly i need one. Who knows it can beat up ps vita.. With iphone 5( larger screen), it going to be hilariously fun!

  •!/alexjdz Alex Diaz

    They’re over 9000 dollars!

    • macmixing

      OVER 9000!!!!!

      • Syed Ali

        What are you both quibbling about??? They are UNDER their target by a mere 9000.

  • Jinming Zhang

    Why not get xperia play?

    • genXhippie

      Because it does not have the app polish and support one receives w/ an iphone imo.

    • willie

      Why are you even commenting on a blog about iPhone, ipad

    • Joe Jonsen

      cause it sucks..

  • seyss

    I really liked it.. It has been a while since a great accessory came..

  • genXhippie

    If this actually materializes, while being compatible with the vast majority of popular games, I would definitely purchase one with no hesitation.

    • Avery Massenburg

      If it’s not compatible, You could easily make it compatible with the cydia tweak Blutrol

      • Joe Jonsen

        yes true but still not good enough

  • Raven Woods

    They need to extend the battery with it tbh!

  • Rehan Ali Rana

    I dunno about this one. It looks familiar to a dsi type of thing and I really don’t wanna bring those brutal days back when all I had was a dsi.

  • Timothy Polumbo

    This is really cool BUUUUT — I think the touch controls are perfect for all games except emulators on iOS. That is the only reason why I wanted a gamepad controller for my iPhone. Now that I have hacked my Wii, I can play all of my emulated games at home with physical buttons — so there is no need for me to purchase a gamepad for my iPhone or have an emulator on my iPHone anymore.

    • Syed Ali

      Even street fighter volt?

  • Chindavon

    So I got to carry a brick around with me all day just so I can be better at FPS games? No thanks.

    • Joe Jonsen

      ummm.. how else do you expect to have an actual controller?????

  • Fernando Pena

    no iPhone 4 support… That’s stupid.

    • Joe Jonsen

      cause it has old blu tooth tek that is laggy a,d slow..

      • Fernando Pena

        I’m pretty sure that older bluetooth tec can handle this kind of pairing with no problem. iCade is a big example of that.

  • Joe Jonsen

    blah blah blah here we go again with these game pad peripherals that are not supported by apples SDK so they dont work with most of the games that we need it for .. this is not a good solution we need apple to either make an apple branded controller or release SDK access so third parties can make controllers that work with all the games on the pap store..

  • Steven Cannan

    They should make a iPad version! who’s with me?

    • Anthony Antunez

      It’s already iPad compatible -___-

  • Tricki68

    What about the iPhone design change? Are they going design one for the new iPhone too?

    • Stefano

      In the video they demonstrate the controller disconnects from the special case and can easily be reconnected. He also stated it’s will be compatible with iPhone 5. Let’s hope it’s just as easy as snapping it on to play.

  • Stephaughn Alston

    The funny thing about is that when the question came up last week I said “Apple shouldn’t make a controller because it defeates the purpose of having a ‘mobile’ device”. But they found a way too make it an all in one solution so this might be pretty nice!

  • Heather List

    They have an iPhone 5 promise so if you don’t want to buy one for your 4S you can select one for the future 5 to be shipped in December.

  • Der Faust

    it would be better if they could make the iphone tray removable. for those of us who use a case that would be nice. not to mention it could be used for any BT gaming device?

    • Stefano

      The ‘tray’ is removable as seen in the video

  • Gerry Alvarado

    Just made the last available pledge for $59.