One of the more curious accessories to be shown off at last night’s Samsung Galaxy S 4 unveiling was the Game Pad, an as-yet-unpriced Bluetooth game enhancer that fits devices between 4-inches and 6.3-inches. It aims to battle Nvidia’s Project Shield without investing too heavily in its own hardware by allowing a Galaxy S 4 — or, presumably, any other compatible smartphone — to link via Bluetooth to the dual analog stick-sporting controller.
There are numerous buttons on board, including four action keys, shoulder keys and a traditional four-way stick. It pairs via NFC with certain devices, too, and can be adjusted to accomodate a number of Samsung handsets.
If you want to use the controller on its own, you can hook up your device to an optional TV dock and play games wirelessly (this is what was happening above), which looked great at native 1080p resolution.
What’s interesting about this controller, however, is its compatible device size; Samsung doesn’t (yet) offer one at 6.3-inches, but that is the same number as the rumoured Galaxy Note III, which is expected to be released later this year. Speculation has run rampant that, as it did with the GS4, Samsung will find a way to increase the screen size of the Note III without adding dimensions to its overall chassis.
We’ll touch on this in a later article, but it also points to a two-flagship-a-year strategy for Samsung, which allows them to keep customers anticipating new products while leveraging the same materials, designs and features of previously-announced products.