Handheld games consoles such as the impressive PS Vita, though still popular, are in danger of being sidelined by increasingly capable smartphones and the games that are available to play on them. There is one problem with this transition however: the control system on touchscreen phones and tablets leaves a lot to be desired. Which is where GameKlip enters in to the equation.
GameKlip is a simple solution that brings two existing products together in a way that makes them look as though they were always designed to operate in unison. GameKlip is essentially nothing more than a plastic clip that attaches an Android phone to a PS3 controller, but its simplicity cannot take away from its usefulness.
The GameKlip hooks on to a PS3 controller and the Android phone is then slid snugly into place above the shoulder buttons. Once connected the whole thing looks more like a dedicated handheld games console than two devices forced uncomfortably together. The PS3 controller offers native analog input and emulates both touch and hardware controls. While it may not make you any better at Angry Birds, it will offer a more intuitive method of controlling the more complex games that are increasingly being ported to Android and sold through Google Play.
Each GameKlip is manufactured to fit a specific phone, with versions to fit popular devices kept in stock. Versions for other Android phones can be forged on demand. This made-to-order approach means each GameKlip will only fit the make and brand of phone specified. If you buy another phone, which most of us do every one or two years, you'll likely need to buy another GameKlip. Another note to remember is that you have to remove your phone from its case in order to fit the GameKlip in place. While the inventor of the GameKlip is confident that once inserted into the bracket the phone is safe from falling, the risk still remains.
The Sony Playstation DualShock3 controller and the phone connect wirelessly thanks to the Sixaxis Controller app from Dancing Pixel Studios, but your phone needs to be rooted in order for it to work in this way. Thankfully there is a compatibility checker available on Google Play. Those who own phones that either aren't rooted or aren't compatible have the option of going the wired route, with a USB cable included for those willing to pay a little extra. Unfortunately only the Samsung Galaxy S3 has so far been tested to work with the PS3 controller using this method. Which is something of an oversight.
A version for the Xbox 360 controller is said to be being worked on, while "GameKlip Tablet" for 7-inch devices is at the prototype stage. GameKlip for Android phones is available to buy now for a range of different devices, priced at US$15 for the wireless version, $23 for the wired version (plus shipping).
GameKlip's promo video (below) provides a closer look at this simple but effective piece of hardware.
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning