|iPega running Tekken 3 on ePSX Emulator|
Having used mobile gaming devices for many years, the power of modern day tablets and mobile phones led me on the quest for a joypad/gaming stick that I could use with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Tesco Hudl 2 Android devices.
At first, I tried using both a PS3 and Xbox/PC gamepad, which although worked fine meant that the Note 3 or Hudl 2 had to be placed somewhere secure on a stand, so I could play the game properly. Wouldn’t it be ideal if I could mimic some like the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP consoles!
My search led me to research many different gaming pads, all of which meant the tablet or phone would need to be a separate entity. That was until I found the iPega range of bluetooth gaming pads. A pad that encases your phone and makes it look like a large PS VIta, or even your tablet making it a huge handheld device.
|iPega 9023 running GenPlusDroid on Hudl 2 8" Tablet|
The iPega 9023 is a large looking device when not connected to anything, the reason for this is that you can slip your mobile phone or tablet into it’s cradle, and then the controller parts surround the edge of the device. The iPega 9023 can take device’s from 5 inches through to 10 inches which makes it perfect for phablets and tablets alike.
The iPega stretches open, and the device is placed into the centre of the pad. The device of your choice is held snugly in place with rubberised edges of the pad, and there is also a clip at the bottom of the pad to help hold larger screens. The iPega snaps shut with it’s locking system, and a further switch under the pad locks into position to stop the pad expanding. It’s very easy to use and the pad can be ready in seconds.
The layout of the pad is very much like a cross between a PS3 and Xbox controller. It has the usual buttons found on a modern controller, including the front lower and upper triggers. The pad also has the select, start and home buttons, plus a brilliant d-pad and a selection of button that allow volume control and play controls for music etc.
The twin sticks have a nice feel to them, with a nice give and plenty of movement. As mentioned, the d-pad is superb, and for older games played with emulation, it is very responsive and perfect for classic 8-bit and 16-bit games. The buttons consist of A, B, X & Y, and again have a sturdy and quality feel to them, without being too spongy.
The iPega 9023 feels good without a device attached, but once something is attached to it, it takes on a whole new feeling, and feels strong and well-made, without having too much weight. The difference from when connected to a device and when not is quite surprising, and when you first get the pad, you’ll laugh at it’s size. Once connected, your laughing stops and the games begin.
The iPega 9023 is simple to set-up. It has four modes, where it can perform differently, these are accessed by holding down the “Home” button in conjunction with either the A,B, X or Y buttons.
Full functioning Gamepad mode is the only mode you really need, and this is accessed with holding “Home” along with the “X” button. Further turning on of the controller is as simple as just pressing the “Home” button.
The other modes are there if you should ever need them, “Home” and the “Y” button puts you in SPP + iPega mode which is used for iPega apps, “A” is Keyboard mode where keys act like certain letters of the alphabet and “B” is for iCade mode. I have never used any of the other modes, or have any software to try them with, so I have no idea how these work.
What good is a gamepad if there is a delay between pressing any of the buttons or joysticks? Well, with many hours of testing with Android games (Asphalt 8, Final Freeway 2, Modern Combat 5, Raiden Legacy, Sonic 1 & 2), plus emulator software and games (Playstation, Atari, PSP and MAME) the gamepad worked flawlessly, with no lag between button presses and action on the screen.
The d-pad is especially responsive to the touch, and is one of the best d-pads I've ever used. The buttons have the right depth to them for quick button-bashing and the sticks work perfectly well also. Overall there is no faulting the gamepads performance.
The iPega 9023 us an affordable gamepad that screams quality. It's layout, build and fixtures to mobile devices is second to none, and the package brings a whole new life to playing games.
The majority of games on the Android store, plus all the emulators I tried work well with the iPega. The controller will probably be used most by those gamers wanting to recreate the good old days of gaming using emulators for 8-bit and 16-bit machines. There's no doubt that this gamepad will bring that unique feeling back when used.
This is possibly one of the best gaming investments of the last few years, and should be considered by anyone who has even the slightest interest in gaming.