There is a brand new design out for the GameBone iPhone gaming accessory, and it looks like something we’d want to put our iPhones into. The accessory gives the iPhone four buttons and a d-pad. It features “a 2000mAh battery for additional power, an LED to show charging state and capacity, start/select buttons, built-in stereo speakers, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an omni-directional microphone.”
There’s no exact release date, but 22moo, GameBone’s maker, has released developer tools for those wanting to make their games compatible with the accessory already and hopes to have something on the market by the end of the year.
The GameBone is an external gamepad for the iPhone platform that hopes to add buttons (and therefore gaming cred) to the buttonless devices, but we’re just not confident it’s been fully thought through.
First of all, games would have to be compatible with the controller, and given that so many games are dependent on the accelerometer (hell, the “looka that!” sensation of the accelerometer is the driving force behind a ton of these games), the GameBone wouldn’t work with a lot of the most popular games in the App Store. Plus, the GameBone doesn’t physically attach to the iPhone itself; it probably connects via Bluetooth. The makers say they’ll supply a vertical and horizontal stand for the iPhone, but that’s still sort of awkward for what’s supposed to be a handheld device.
But these guys have a great grassroots feel: They’re asking users to suggest a price point for the Gamebone’s hopeful release in September, and we’re all for expanding the iPhone’s gaming capabilities. Let’s hope they quell some of our concerns before then.