One of the most interesting accessories announced last week for the Samsung Galaxy S4 was the Game Pad, an Xbox-like games controller which connects to the phone using NFC and Bluetooth, and supports the device in an adjustable dock. It has a pair of analog sticks, a d-pad, shoulder buttons, four regular control buttons and the usual start, menu and home keys.
Along with connecting to the phone, it also hooks up to Samsung’s official dock, which in turn can be connected by HDMI to your television. In other words, it has got everything to turn the Galaxy S4 into a fully fledged Android console. As far as games are concerned, it’ll come with eight when it goes on sale and there will be another 80 compatible titles available inside the Samsung Apps store. Electronic Arts has signed up and titles such as The Sims, Plants vs. Zombies and Need for Speed: Most Wanted will all support the Game Pad.
Samsung didn’t make a big deal about it during the event, and you have to really search to find it on its website, which is somewhat surprising given the recent interest surrounding dedicated Android gaming hardware. However, there are plenty of people eagerly waiting to hear how much it’s going to cost, particularly because it can be adjusted to suit devices with screens measuring between 4-inches and 6.3-inches.
Price has been kept quiet, until now
Price is a subject Samsung has so far avoided, and there could be a good reason, as U.S. mobile accessory retailer MobileFun has put the Game Pad up for pre-order at $113. MobileFun looks to be the only retailer with an advertised price for the Game Pad at the moment, with Expansys in the UK still asking interested customers to pre-register for details in the future.
If the price is correct and not an ambitious guess, it’s at least twice the price of Microsoft’s wireless Xbox controller, which Samsung appears to have used as its inspiration for the color scheme and layout of the Game Pad. Worse, it’s also more expensive than Kickstarter favorite Ouya, the Android games console which has a controller and the box needed to play the games for $13 less.
It’ll be a bit of a blow should the Game Pad cost $113, as at that price it’s not an impulse buy, but a purchase most will have to consider for a while before making. The trouble is, no matter how much you love mobile gaming, it’ll be difficult to justify paying more than three figures for a controller. Here’s hoping MobileFun’s pre-order price is out by about $40 or $50.