I’ve seen and played with a lot of mobile phone game controllers. Many of them are separate from the phone, feel very cheap, and/or are very large attachments that need to be removed if you want to put your phone back in your pocket. Seldom do you see a sturdy, slim profile device that will improve on-the-go gaming without being a burden to carry around. Last week at E3, I saw one that was actually kind of impressive.
The BladePad is a gaming controller accessory for your iPad and iPhone 4+ that will give you a D-pad, two low-profile analog sticks, and ABXY buttons. It locks on and slides on a very basic black case, but can be detached when not in use. While it is an add-on to your phone, it isn’t particularly bulky, and wouldn’t be too noticeable if you kept it in your pocket as normal. The analog sticks are backlit with red lights, and even with them on full time, you’ll get around 10 hours of play time out of them on a single charge. If you go without the extra illumination, you can squeeze out 18 hours. The latency is pretty much non-existent, and it is compatible with a bunch of different apps. Of course, as it is decently constructed, it shouldn’t be terribly surprising that $99 is on the price tag it carries. If you’re really into mobile games, then this looks rather promising.