60beat GamePad reviewed: A not-so-portable controller for iOS devices
Although the 60beat GamePad ($35) does connect with mobile devices to make gaming easier, it isn’t really designed to be a portable controller—it’s just a bit too large. Since it connects via cable, getting it to work with your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch is a simple process. But the 60beat offers only a limited number of compatible games, and the lack of wireless functionality may make it less appealing to some.
Design. The 60beat’s design and layout is very similar to that of a PlayStation 3 controller, though it’s slightly larger (see the image below). It has all the features that should be on a game controller, including four face buttons, start and select buttons, four shoulder buttons, a directional pad, and two analog sticks that also serve as additional buttons when clicked.
All the buttons were responsive and worked well, and I found the controller to be comfortable to hold and use. And the 4-foot cable gives plenty of slack, so you won’t have to worry about pulling your iPad off the table if you lean back.
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Highs. Connecting the controller to your iOS device is easy: Just plug it into the headphone jack, and you’re good to go. The 60beat’s design makes it feel familiar for those who have played games on a PlayStation before. And the analog sticks give the player more control than the slider pads found on smaller controllers.
Lows. The GamePad isn’t really made to be carried around: You’ll need a bag if you want to bring it with you. And since the controller connects through the headphone jack, you won’t be able to use your mobile device’s speakers, though you can use the provided audio splitter to get sound through your headphones.
A limited number of games are compatible with the controller, and they are not easily found in Apple’s App Store by searching. The 60beat website does provide a list of games.
Bottom line. The 60beat GamePad does a great job of implementing physical controls in compatible games. Though it’s not as portable as smaller controllers like the Moga and Nyko PlayPad, it works well for playing games at home on your iOS device.