Snakebyte is a company started in 1997 which produces gaming peripherals such as gamepads and headsets. They have just announced a new gamepad which is designed primarily for VR. The VR: Controller works wirelessly over Bluetooth but also has a Micro USB cable to connect to devices where Bluetooth does not work, a smart move to work with some gaming rigs. It also charges over Micro USB.
Since they do use Bluetooth, it is able to work with a variety of different platforms including Android TV. After pairing the controller to your TV, it should just work for playing games and using apps. The added integration with Google voice search won’t work, but it may be a great gaming companion.
It seems like their VR controller is different from the Android game controller listed on their website, although they’ll act similarly. The HID (human-interface device) profile for gamepads is pretty standard, so it should work out of the box.
It seems like the device has very solid hardware, with a layout similar to other controllers such as the one that comes with the NVIDIA Shield. The Android navigation buttons have been moved to the side of the gamepad, and on the front are buttons for “Start” and “Select”. It’s not immediately apparent what these buttons will do. Perhaps they’ll serve as executing particular macros, although few if any Android games will support these buttons.
We’ve been providing players with high-quality gaming products for two decades, and now feels like the ideal time to flex our development muscles further with the introduction of a whole new range of hardware which significantly raises the bar for performance and quality.
-Chris Carroll, Director of Product Development for Snakebyte
Snakebyte is saying their gamepad will begin shipping globally this month. They haven’t announced a price yet, and it’s not on their store either. Their previous Android gamepad is listed on Amazon for $30, so it’s likely this new model will be priced similarly. You can watch a review of it below.
What do you think? Do you use a third-party gamepad on your Android TV, or do you use the controller provided by the manufacturer? Let us know in the comments below.