BlackBerry Z10 is Poised to Disrupt Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation Vita and XBox 720

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BB 10 Gamepad Support

The game Shadowgun is running on the Z10 (below the TV). The player is playing the game using a gamepad, which is connected to the Z10 via Bluetooth.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has talked several times about BB 10 competing in other areas besides smartphones and tablets.  We previously wrote that, with the upcoming BlackBerry docking stations, BlackBerry will be competing against Apple and Microsoft in desktop and laptop computers.

The fact that BlackBerry will be adding gamepad support to BB 10 has been on the developer roadmap for several months.  However, besides the words “gamepad support”, there has not been any public description of what that actually involves – until today.

With gamepad support, BlackBerry 10 users can play a game on their smartphone using a physical gamepad instead of the virtual one on the touchscreen.  This is particularly appealing to serious gamers, since physical gamepads are superior in several ways, including response time and tactile feedback.  Currently, 3 types of gamepads are supported on BB 10.  SteelSeries Free and Wii Remote are already supported in the 10.0 version of the NDK, while Gametel support will be added in 10.1 (the beta is available for download).  It is almost certain that support for more gamepads will be added in the near future.

Consoles Face Risk of Being Disrupted by BlackBerry 10

At the PlayStation 4 announcement event yesterday, a common question was whether the console’s impressive specs can overcome the demographic shift, in which users are increasingly playing games on mobile devices.  There is no doubt that a console is needed for hardcore gamers looking for the ultimate gaming experience.  However, with a BlackBerry Z10, a user can save $200-$300 by not having to purchase a console and its associated accessories.  It is likely inevitable that over time, BlackBerry will take market share from the likes of Nintendo WiiU and PlayStation Vita, and even consoles like the upcoming XBox 720 and PlayStation 4.

The timing of this development is very exciting, since the Ouya console is currently generating quite a bit of buzz, and even Nvidia is getting into gaming.  In addition, this sort of gamepad support is another area where BlackBerry 10 is ahead of iOS 6 on the iPhone 5, since the latter does not offer support for physical gamepads.

Tutorials and sample code, which can be accessed here, is already available on Github for developers who would like to add this functionality to their apps.  Additional information is on the BlackBerry Developer Blog.

Related Articles:

BlackBerry Moves into Mobile Payments and Takes on PayPal with BBM Money

BlackBerry Ramps Up Z10 Production as Android and iPhone Users Switch Over in Droves

Why BlackBerry Z10 is a Much Better Deal than iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S

How do you think gamepad support on BB 10 will play out (no pun intended)?  Please let us know in the comments below.

via: N4BB

This entry was posted in Apps, BlackBerry, BlackBerry, BlackBerry, Devices, Gaming, News, Video by Michael Li. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael Li

Michael Li is a technology enthusiast. His areas of interest include smartphones, tablets, PCs and wearables. In the Summer, when he is not busy at work, he is likely enjoying a beer at a patio in downtown Toronto. In the Winter, you can find Michael snowblading down the slopes. Disclaimer: Michael's articles and comments are solely his personal opinion; they are not the opinion of his employer.
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  • coolheat

    This for sure is an iPhone killer.

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  • soulhunter

    Any hardcore gamers will not replace their consoles for a mobile phone like the iphone, samsung or z10.

    • Michael Li

      I definitely agree. But hardcore gamers are the minority when all gamers are considered. More people play Angry Birds on their smartphone than Call of Duty on a console. And that’s the potential for BlackBerry 10.

      • ittsmith

        i agree hardcore gamers will not. But my kid is going to make me activate the upcoming gaming features on any phone i purchase like she already has made me download games on any phone I have. And the age 6 to 10 group can easily be placated with a minor amount of cash outlay on my part to augment our game life. A typical family has one or two game consoles but not three. I think the NEW typical family is going to have one game console and one phone console. And although the cost is small to the typical family to make this shift in gaming mentality, when you add up all of those families that spend just a little extra, you end up with a HUGE market segment that is “untapped”. I say “untapped” because not many families that I know of have tapped into the “phone acting as a console” concept….yet…. So although its very easy to dismiss bb10 as not having a ton of games….none of the phones have a ton of console games and so kudos to them for being forward thinking to be ready to tap into this market.

        • Michael Li

          Agreed. The kids who are playing games on their smartphones today will grow up to become tweens and teenagers who purchase far fewer consoles than the ones today.

  • kaydpea

    is this article a joke? am i reading the onion?

  • Mike Dwyer

    What? No phone, iPhone, Gs3, 920, or even the unknown Z10 is going to win people from PS4 or Xbox or WiiU. Maybe the handhelds but I doubt that too. Phones are for quick gaming, not long immersive environments, that’s why most game are less the $5.
    To say the a phone, let alone the Z10, will take away gamers shows a level of fanboyness and blindness never seen before.

    • Michael Li

      This is a perfect example of disruption. When disruption occurs, the new product is usually a less “complete” solution (and is just good enough). The most important thing is the new product is lower cost, and it is this reason alone that the new product gains market share, at the expense of the old product. When the first Canon printers came out, they were inferior to Xerox in nearly every way (except for cost). Over time, Canon got more market share than Xerox because it is just good enough for the majority of people.

      • Mike Dwyer

        And so then where does Z10 stand then? Becuase most people don’t think about Blackberry as a personal phone, to many it’s a business phone and that is a big reason they are going to have a problem catching on with masses that are already emanated with IPhone and GS3

        • Michael Li

          In the early 2000’s it was almost exclusively a business phone. But in the past 3-4 years it’s mostly a personal communications device – just ask the many consumers in Indonesia who are addicted to BBM. With BB 10, BlackBerry is taking its strengths to the next level with the Hub, predictive text, simultaneous multi-language support and BBM Video Chat with screen-sharing. It has also addressed its past weaknesses, by offering an industry-leading browser, TimeShift camera, Story Maker and Voice Control (powered by AT&T Watson).

    • Kurt Windibank

      Logging into a Gaming “streaming service” to play games via your Z10 will allow for games to be very immersive and much more intense than todays games that are played via mobile. The point is not playing “mobile games” on the Z10…its the potential to play very popular,intense, games via a smartphone connection rather than the hardware units of today. It’s happening as we speak….

      • Michael Li

        Agreed! DLNA should help with that. Chris Umiastowski wrote a great article more than a year ago about how, with DLNA, you could have 4 people playing a live multi-player game on BB 10, and only one person needs to actually purchase the game. The rest can play as guests.

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  • pepe

    BlackBerry can’t take market share from Xbox, wii, etc. because its sales are insignificant.

    • Gyubok Baik

      its sales may be significant but to take market share from xbox, wii, etc. seem bit of a stretch.

  • veeru789

    how about android. does S3 or nexus 4 support this kind of hardware?

    • Michael Li

      I’m pretty sure gamepad support isn’t on Android 4.2

      • Moonbaseone EpicFansite

        Gamepad support is available with Android 4.2

        • Michael Li

          Thanks for pointing that out. Ya it’s on Android 4.2.1. I’ll correct that.

    • Mike Dwyer

      iPhone technically support game pads to through a Bluetooth link. There are many for sale already.

      • Michael Li

        That is true. It’s just that gamepad support is not yet in the SDK.

  • Ann-Louise Winter

    Woah!!! Awesome potential! Come all you gamers! My Z10 already works seemlessly with my HD SmartTV to show movies, pictures, etc. Let the games begin! 😀

    • Michael Li

      Agreed! The ability to connect to the Z10 to so many Bluetooth enabled-devices (TV, wireless keyboard and mouse) is a big bonus.