a blog about Nokia phones, S60, and the wireless industry

Accessory: Bluetooth Game Pad Controller For Symbian Phones

April 9, 2006

This has been around for awhile, but I’m sure there’s a lot of people who’ve never seen this before and it’s a really innovative idea to say the least.

A company called Chainpus designed the first Bluetooth Game Pad controller for Symbian phones. Along with some software, the gamepad lets you emulate certain keys on the phone keypad, which almost makes it seem like you’re playing on, say, a Sony PSP. Read more in the extended entry…

The two “cone-shaped” parts swivel around for easy storage AND hold the phone in place via rubber grips.

These retailed at $120 USD which is ridiculous. Now you can find them on fleabay for about $40. I *almost* bought one.

Considering regular Symbian games are optimized for cell phone play in terms of controls, the Chainpus GamePad controller only helps marginally. However, the gamepad really shines for emulators – vNes, vSun, and Picodrive are three great emulators that suffer from the same problem. Namely, the keypads oon cell phones are horrible for playing games meant for large controllers with lots of buttons. I have to admit, playing Contra on a cell phone is an experience. (and not really a pleasant one, either)

From what I’ve read about this product, the main flaw is in the software – basically, you can’t save a profile for each game, and the controls reset each time. So that means you’ll need to configure the software specifically for whatever game you’re trying to play EVERY time you want to play. You can see how that gets annoying pretty fast. And of course the whole time Bluetooth is on which reduces your battery life pretty significantly.

So my recommendation is either to wait for a newer edition, or until the price drops below $20 USD before you grab one of these.

You can find the offical Chainpus Game Pad Controller site here.

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