The XOPAD is an open source USB gamepad made for Android smartphones. Now, gamepads for the Android platform are not uncommon. There are over a dozen gamepad models that are specially designed for the Android smartphone and tablets. The Android OS is also designed to support both USB and Bluetooth game controllers. So why would anyone be interested in supporting yet another gamepad controller for the Android phone? Let us look at what the XOPAD has to offer.
The XOPAD looks like a game controller that has be chopped right down the middle and joined back together with the Android phone now stuck in between. It does look quite unwieldy. With a bigger phone (the XOPAD supports sizes up to the Samsung Galaxy Note2) placed in the middle you are looking at a contraption that is possibly more than 10″ across.
However, compared to designs where the phone is attached to the top of the controller, the XOPAD might hold the advantage when it comes to games utilizing the phone’s G-sensor. The top mounted design might be a little too top heavy for precise control especially with larger phones.
The button layout is quite similar to an Xbox 360 controller with four face buttons on the right, 2 thumb sticks on either side, a direction pad on the left, 2 shoulder buttons and 2 trigger buttons.
The designers of the XOPAD has also made the decision to go with a USB connection instead of Bluetooth. The latter is known to be a battery drainer. To further enhance your phone’s battery life, the XOPAD comes with a built-in 3000 mAh rechargeable lithium battery that can be used to charge the phone while you play.
For further enhancement of your gaming experience, it has stereo speakers right next to the 2 thumb sticks.
However, the Pièce de résistance is the open source part of the XOPAD. What this means is that the firmware on the gamepad is open to changes and updates by the community. Not all Android games are developed to support gamepads but with an open source firmware, the chances of support being hacked in is higher.
The Kickstarter project has a target funding of $110,000. So far, it has received about $3,400 in pledges with 24 days to go.
If you are interested in supporting the project, head on over via the link below.