By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 17, 2013 10:01 AM EST
Samsung has officially launched its new Smartphone GamePad, which, as the name suggests, is the company's own gamepad for Android smartphones.
Apple started to allow third-party gamepads for the iPhone with its iOS 7 and it turned out to be quite a popular trend. Samsung is now looking to bolster its presence in the smartphone space and has unveiled its own gamepad for Android handsets.
"Launched in response to the rapidly expanding global mobile gaming market, Smartphone GamePad provides consumers with a fun, convenient, and advanced gaming experience anytime, anywhere," touted Samsung in a press release on Tuesday, Dec. 17. "The Smartphone GamePad instantly transforms the user's Galaxy smartphone into a portable gaming console or even a home console. Through its premium, easy-to-carry design and durable steel frame, GamePad is attachable to mobile devices ranging from 4-inches to 6.3-inches, allowing users to play games wherever they are. Users can also connect Galaxy devices to their TV through an HDMI cable or AllShare Screen Mirroring for video game console experience from their living room."
While the third-party iPhone gamepads attach to the device, Samsung's Smartphone GamePad is a standalone device that pairs with the smartphone via Bluetooth. The gadget will work with smartphones running Android 4.1, but Galaxy handsets running Android 4.3 will enjoy more features, including NFC connect support.
"GamePad easily connects with smartphones and tablets through Bluetooth pairing. The most convenient features optimized for Samsung Galaxy devices running Android 4.3 such as Galaxy Note 3, S4, Note II, and S III enable easy connectivity with GamePad via NFC tag and quicker access to games via the 'PLAY' button."
The new Samsung GamePad sports an eight-way D-Pad, two analog sticks, four action buttons, and two triggers. The device comes with an accompanying app called "the Mobile Console app," which will allow users to browse and buy compatible games.
According to Samsung, the new Smartphone GamePad is available now in "select" countries in Europe. The company offered no pricing details at this point. In terms of wider availability, Samsung said that it will launch the device in other markets "in the coming weeks."