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Why we haven't had a android phone with intergrated gamepad controls in 10 years

KAL2006

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Feb 6, 2009
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I was thinking surely there is a market for this. Xperia Play came out 10 years ago. Since then handheld gaming has advanced so much. People are playing Fortnite and Minecraft on phones with full gaming controls. We have XCloud and other streaming services for playing games. Emulation has improved so much on Android we got 3DS and Wii emulation now and Retroarch is so much better now. Yes people can just buy attachments or control games with any Bluetooth controller. But honestly I don't think I would be bothered to carry another device when I'm out but I'd easily play more games on a phone if it had slide out controls.

Phones have also reached a level any mid range phone has good enough specs so I'd easily sacrifice some features from the bug guns like Samsung Galaxy as majority of mid range smartphoned just reached a level it's enough power.
 

elliot5

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Apr 22, 2021
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Because you won't sell enough to warrant the r&d and how quickly people break or get new phones. More cost effective for everyone to just add an attachment.

Are there phone cases that have a slide out control pad? That seems like a fair compromise.
 
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Gamer79

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Apr 9, 2015
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On top of that there are few android games that really need controls. Most are pay to win bullshit.
 

Drew1440

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Nov 12, 2020
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I miss phones with slide out keyboards, or quirky phones like the Nokia N-Gage or Sony Ericsson W950
 

ReBurn

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Dec 6, 2008
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any phone manufacturer manage to nail this, could change the game in industry.
I doubt it. The quality of mobile games is typically so low, phone hardware changes so fast and manual controls that size are so fragile that few would pay the premium that would certainly be charged for a "gaming" phone that would be hard to repair. You'd pay a thousand bucks for it and it would be obsolete in a year.
 
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Fbh

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Dec 6, 2013
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Seems like too niche of a market, specially since most phone games are designed to be played with touch screens anyway.
And even if you want to play phone games with buttons, I'd argue most would prefer some accessory like the Razer Kishi so that when you aren't using your phone for gaming it isn't some ugly and bulky thing with an edgy "gamer" design.
 

Birdo

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Jun 12, 2019
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The PSP GO was amazing, and you all let it die!


 

Plantoid

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Have you seen the black shark or ROG phone, both have physical shoulder buttons
 

Magic Carpet

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Apr 2, 2020
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Need rails on Cellphones similar to the Switch. Just add attachements. Including any larger camera, or even game controls.
Ive used my Xbone controller with my Iphone with a holder attachment. It works great except it gets top heavy and gets tiring fast. It's best to put the screen in the middle of the controls, Razor Kishi, Switch, Vita.
 
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Shai-Tan

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Mar 16, 2009
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On top of that there are few android games that really need controls. Most are pay to win bullshit.
There are a decent amount on iOS, although proper generic controller support (not just mfi) is only a few versions old.

I think it calls for a controller shell that the phone sits in the middle of more than built in controls. Good for people who e.g. have longer public transit commute. When I did I played loads of Super Stardust on Vita, although back then I didn't see that many people playing 3ds. Does anyone in here who uses public transit see many people pulling out their switch?
 

onnextflix5

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Jun 6, 2019
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Dont dont why ms dont spend some rnd and make a good one, as they have gamepass and xcloud now, and they seem to want get into mobile space, granted it would not be cheap, but ms seem to have money to burn.
 
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MAtgS

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Dec 13, 2008
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We don't even have phones with keyboards anymore. If that can't survive, what chance did gamepads have?
 

Kumomeme

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Mar 20, 2017
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I doubt it. The quality of mobile games is typically so low, phone hardware changes so fast and manual controls that size are so fragile that few would pay the premium that would certainly be charged for a "gaming" phone that would be hard to repair. You'd pay a thousand bucks for it and it would be obsolete in a year.
yes. thats part of the issue. it is not simply matter of attaching stick on phone and make it presentable and comfortable. which is why i believe if anyone managed to nail this, they could be on to something.... but like you said, it is not that simple which is why nobody manage to tackle this properly.
 

YCoCg

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Apr 25, 2020
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The Xperia Play came out too early and was sadly under specced, if it was done these days it would've sold a lot more.
 

Rikkori

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May 9, 2020
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There's literally no benefit to doing it that way, to either the buyers or the manufacturers, as opposed to just being able to add a gamepad attachment separately.
 

DonkeyPunchJr

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Nov 1, 2020
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Why? Why would you want to make your phone 2-3x as thick just to attach a bunch of moving parts that can easily break? If I gave a shit about smartphone gaming I’d rather just get a separate gamepad for it.
 

CamHostage

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Sep 30, 2004
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I was thinking surely there is a market for this. Xperia Play came out 10 years ago. Since then handheld gaming has advanced so much.... Phones have also reached a level any mid range phone has good enough specs so I'd easily sacrifice some features from the bug guns like Samsung Galaxy as majority of mid range smartphoned just reached a level it's enough power.

As somebody who owned an Xperia Play and was real excited for it and then never gamed with it...

I don't know why this never seems to work out, but I think generally the idea of buying the best phone I can buy for everything outweighed the reality of buying a so-so phone that was trying to be good for gaming. Maybe if a top-tier manufacturer put its best chipsets in a device with game controls and sold it for still a reasonable price, that would be something, but it's not what happened then and it'd be hard to make that happen now. Flip/slide-out phones are rare and unwanted, weight and screenspace are critical buying factors, and you probably couldn't really do decent controls by just making a little bigger. (Nintendo Joy-Cons are each an inch-and-a-half wide, so adding 3 inches to a phone would be immense. And touchscreen play, as much as we old bastards at GAF hate playing that way, it's gotten better and kids these days are totally used touch being their control system. You're just better off adding a controller if you're really serious about gaming on a phone.

...That all said, I think phone manufacturers are starting to take gaming as a serious function of the phone again? Look at the RedMagic 5G, which adds trigger buttons to the top of the controller. That's a smart addition that adds precision to gameplay, takes some of your fingers off of the screen for more visibility, and BTW also offers other phone functions a pair of extra buttons that might prove handy. Triggers or back-buttons for gaming would be smart additions for any phone, making them optimized for gaming and useful in other ways as well.

 
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CamHostage

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And then future phones could do things with new technology to prioritize gaming yet still not compromise on general phone services. Like Surface Haptics, that'll give you a feel of virtual buttons on the screen real estate, so you will know the difference between A,B,X,&Y just by feel. There was also technology where a layer of liquid could be added to a screen and "buttons" would come right out of the screen itself for a more tactile experience. (This microfluid technology hasn't gone anywhere since it debuted in 2013, but maybe some day it'll come back.




And then, with screens developing beyond the standard box LED display thanks to printable and foldable new display technology, we may see things like the device is built around the controls and the screen is built into it rather than the other way around. So maybe a foldable gaming phone, or an edge-to-edge concept, or even a way-out-there design where buttons have microLED video displays built into them and so could continue the picture while still being pressable. Maybe some of these kinds of features might be explored to give consumers a mostly-normal-seeming phone for most uses but also some play mechanics built in.



 
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