On Monday, Samsung introduced the Gamepad, a peripheral optimized for gaming on the company's line of Galaxy devices. GamePad is attachable to mobile devices ranging from 4 inches to 6.3 inches, and connects to the smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. The device is compatible with Android 4.1, meaning gamers should be able to use this device on non-Samsung phones and tablets.
"GamePad easily connects with smartphones and tablets through Bluetooth pairing," reads the company press release. "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."
This "PLAY" button launches the company's new Mobile Console app, which appears to offer Android games outside Google Play such as Need for Speed Most Wanted, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, Virtual Tennis Challenge, Prince of Persia: The Shadow and the Flame, and more. This app can be downloaded through Samsung Apps, and provides 35 games that are compatible with this particular gamepad. More titles are coming in 2014.
On the hardware front, the gamepad provides an 8-way D-Pad and an analog stick on the left, and an analog stick and four action buttons on the right. The "PLAY" button resides right in the middle, and each shoulder has a trigger button. The peripheral comes with a rechargeable 160mA battery, Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC connectivity (the latter on Samsung phones with Android 4.3 only).
The GamePad is currently available in select European markets and will be available in additional regions in the coming weeks. The availability of the GamePad varies by market.