The upcoming accessory brings precision controls to your iPad device.

by Jason Venter

At CES 2015, Cali Lewis of GeekBeat.TV and Sherri Smith from TomsGuide.com had the opportunity to speak with Fraser Townley, president of Wikipad, Inc., who asked a question that has been on a lot of minds: how do you play a console game while your fingers are covering up the play area?

The answer Townley proposes is the Gamevice, which is “two halves of a controller” that can extend and fasten around the edges of a device such as the iPad. They feature the standard joysticks, triggers, bumpers, and buttons (A, B, X, Y) that gamers are familiar with after time spent with systems such as the Xbox One and Wii U. There’s also an audio jack, so that covering up your device’s standard output won’t prevent you from hearing your game’s sound.

According to Townley, the Gamevice will last about four times as long as an iPad on a single charge, so you’ll be able to get a lot of play time before you have to pause to refuel.

To demonstrate the Gamevice at work, Townley fired up BioShock on the iPad device he brought with him to the demonstration, then handed it off to Smith, a self-professed gamer. She was able to immediately begin playing as if she were holding a console controller.

“You need precise controls,” she said of the game, “and it’s something you’re not going to get [by] swiping on the screen.” However, she was able to play capably with the Gamevice attached to the iPad.

Townley also emphasized the device’s portability, since it can be unhinged from the iPad and stored in a more compact space, as it is capable of folding back over on itself.

Lewis wanted to know how much the device will cost. According to Townley, the Gamevice will be available in March for “just under $100.”

Townley quoted stats that report around two thirds of iPad use involves gaming, which certainly bodes while for the potential success of an accessory such as the Gamevice. He believes it offers “the ultimate gaming experience” while still allowing consumers to enjoy using their tablets for other standard applications, such as reading and web browsing.

The Gamevice will be available for both the iPad Air and the iPad Mini, with Wikipad hoping to manage a synchronized launch. Townley wasn’t ready to announce an Android edition of the accessory quite yet, despite prompting, but he did acknowledge the possibility that support for Android devices will follow.

If you’re interested in the Gamevice, you’ll be able to find info about it at gamevice.com, as well as here at Hands-On. You can also check the usual social media channels, so there should be no shortage of information in the weeks leading up to release.

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