The touchscreen generation might not know any better, but those of us who grew up with Game Boys know that physical control pads and buttons will always trump on-screen alternatives. Entire this slide-on silicone sleeve, called the G-PAD, that turns your smartphone into an even better handheld gaming machine.
Created by Aws Jan who's currently trying to raise $US16,000 on Indiegogo to put it into production, the G-PAD is designed to work with an iOS Game Boy emulator called GBA4iOS that doesn't require iPhone users to Jailbreak or hack their hardware to install.
The sleeve slides up and onto an iPhone so that it perfectly covers the emulator's on-screen controls. And thanks to the use of a capacitive material on the inside, pressing the sleeve's buttons in turns presses the emulator's on-screen buttons. There's no additional software needed, no Bluetooth connectivity, and if other gaming apps let you completely customise the on-screen controls, there's a chance they will work with the G-PAD too.
It seems like a simple and clever way to improve gaming on the iPhone, especially compared to the recent onslaught of bulky controller accessories hitting the market. But only if it reaches its funding goal and successfully goes into production. Early believers can reserve a G-PAD with a donation of just $US13. But if you'd rather save your money until you're eventually guaranteed to get one, it will cost you $US33 instead -- still far cheaper than finding a used Game Boy online. [Indiegogo - G-PAD via Coolest Gadgets]