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Samsung smartphone gamepad finally ready to launch

Samsung is finally ready to launch its smartphone gamepad accessory, ten months after first introducing it with the Galaxy S4

Samsung has at long last finalised its smartphone gamepad accessory, a whole ten months after it was first revealed alongside the Galaxy S4.

When it was originally introduced, the gamepad had more than a few striking similarities to the Xbox 360 controller – complete with white plastic finish, off-axis analogue sticks and four colour-coded face buttons labelled A, B, X and Y. Samsung has now refined the design, possibly to avoid any trouble with Microsoft’s legal department.

Samsung Smartphone gamepad The original gamepad revealed alongside the Galaxy S4…

Samsung Smartphone gamepad …and the tweaked final version

The final gamepad has a black colour scheme, a tweaked circular directional pad that looks very similar to the one found on Nintendo’s 3DS handheld and dots instead of letters to denote the four face buttons. There are two trigger buttons on the back, and the start and select buttons have been moved to the bottom alongside the Bluetooth power switch.

Despite being a Samsung gadget, the gamepad should work with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running Android 4.1 or higher. It has built-in NFC, and will automatically pair with any Samsung device running Android 4.3 when you dock it in the pop-out grip. It’s large enough to hold devices with screens between 4in and 6.3in, meaning the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Mega will work just as well as a Galaxy S4.

Samsung Smartphone gamepad

To coincide with the launch, Samsung has also released a mobile console app, which combines a game store and launcher that can be launched by pressing the “play” button on the controller. It currently has 35 games built to support the controller, including Need for Speed Most Wanted, Asphalt8 and Modern Combat 4.

The gamepad is already on sale in certain European markets, but Samsung hasn’t yet set an official price or date for a UK release. With competition from the likes of Moga and the Steelseries Free filling the gap in the months between announcement and release, we’ll have to wait to see whether Samsung has left it too late to enter the smartphone gaming market.

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