Imagine: Your iPhone as an iPad Game Controller

As part of our ongoing coverage of the social games and social media spaces, we are introducing a series of posts entitled “Imagine”.  In these posts, we at Social Times will aggregate our creativity to come up with some interesting new experiences that are made possible by the latest in web, mobile and social technology.  To kick it off, let’s look at the potential for people to use their iPhones as console controllers for bigger, richer games on their iPad.

First things first, this analysis wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t pay homage to EA Mobile and their fantastic work with Scrabble iPad.  The game allows players to play a game of Scrabble and use their own iPhone as their personal view of their letter stack.  A video shows how this works below, and it’s a treat.


As you can see in the game, these games are designed such that the iPads are talking to each other, and the iPhones are talking to the iPads as well.  It’s really a fantastic, easy to pick up and play experience, and that’s what prompted our analysis.  The idea of just whipping out your own device to play games against others on a propped up iPad is something that would be easily accessible to players (especially as the iPhones continue to gain traction and market share).

Imagine playing a game like Contra, Castle Crashers or Alien Hominid, where your iPad had the full game experience and your iPhone was just displaying an NES style controller.  That’d mean you could easily sit back and play, and you could have four players join in like an arcade.  Or think about a racing game, where each player is racing on their own device but the iPad is showing the overall map, allowing players to predict and more.  Imagine that some of the power ups can be triggered through the iPhone, but then to use them the player has to make a swipe on the iPad.  Think about a Mario Kart game, where you can trigger a small wave of water across the track, so players need to keep their eye on the world map to make their move.

This may be difficult on a small screen, you may be thinking, and you’re right.  Ideally, the iPad would have some sort of ability to export it’s image to a larger screen, especially as we get more web enabled TVs, but that’s for another post, and another entry in the Imagine series.