Game Gripper Gamepad for Pixi in the Works
One of the most surprising and relatively unheralded attributes of WebOS is its prowess for 3D gaming due to its combination of accelerated graphics hardware and APIs within the OS and its SDK. However, as any iPhone gamer can attest, "conventional" console-style titles played with large onscreen buttons can be clunky and accelerometer movements are tiring and imprecise. Some titles, especially action games and emulators, require the feel of a conventional directional pad. Thankfully, a new product called the Game Gripper is in the works for the Palm Pixi. No pricing or release date is mentioned but the current Droid version is priced at a reasonable $14.99 + $5 S/H.
Currently, a version of the Game Gripper is already in production and available for sale for the Motorola Droid, with versions for the Motorola Devour and BlackBerry Bold also hinted at in addition to the Pixi. Due to the slider design of the Pre form factor, this model is apparently ill-suited to any kind of snap-on controller, despite its improved 3D capabilities relative to its Pixi sibling.
The Pixi and Pixi Plus unfortunately do not have access to the sizable 3D game catalog available to the Pre and Pre Plus but Palm did recently showcase a Pixi Plus with 3D games pre-installed and running in some fashion at CTIA during the AT&T webOS preview event.
A snap-on control pad is nothing new to the handheld scene, especially the Palm OS world. Longtime Palm users may recall past endeavors such as the World Wide Widget Works Gamepad for the Palm IIIc, Handspring's own Game Face Joystick, SnapNPlay's Visor Game Pad, and Sony's own Clie PEGA GC10 wired controller.
I personally owned the WWWW Gamepad for my IIIc and the Handspring GameFace for my Prism. While the Prism's lovely screen and Springboard slot made for a better handheld experience, the WWWW gamepad was the highest in quality, nearly approaching the feel of a GameBoy Color aside from some rather stiff buttons.