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Nyko wants the PlayPad to be the new standard for tablet game controllers

Nyko and Nvidia are betting big on a standardized controller input scheme for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.


LOS ANGELES--E3 might have left out new hardware this year, but third-party accessory manufacturer Nyko was busy putting together a few items that have a lot of potential.

But perhaps the most promising item is the PlayPad and PlayPad Pro, a result of Nyko's partnership with Nvidia and working with Google that aims to standardize controller inputs on Android's Ice Cream Sandwich tablet platform and beyond.

It's a smart initiative because it not only gives developers the comfort of knowing their Android tablet games will have a proper amount of control, but it also gives players the freedom to map controls and functionality the way they want them laid out.

The included PlayPad software will also give users the ability to mimic touch controls and other inputs using a Nyko app that will come with the hardware. I got to see a first-person shooter being played on a 50-inch HDTV with a tablet using just an HDMI cable and PlayPad controller. It might not be Halo 4, but it's certainly much more portable.

The PlayPad and PlayPad Pro (which is just a larger-size version of the controller) are due out in Q4 of this year. There's no price just yet, but Nyko reps have told me the company is aiming for south of $50 for the Pro and even less for the standard PlayPad.