The BlackBerry 10 now supports gamepad controllers, and the phonemaker is pushing to get more developers to make games for the device, according to BlackBerry's team leader of its games division, Sean Paul Taylor.
Speaking to Polygon, Taylor said all BlackBerry 10 devices can now be turned into console-like gaming devices by connecting them to consumer HID gamepad controllers and an HDMI cable hookup to a television set. In doing so, players can either play their mobile games on a television set, or they can dock their phone on a controller and play it as a handheld console.
The phones connect to the devices via Blue-tooth and support them right out of the box. There is no need to install gamepad apps. Among the gamepad controllers compatible with the BlackBerry 10 are the Moga Pro Game controller, the SteelSeries Free controller, the Gametel controller and Nintendo Wii Remote.
"You see the Ouya and GameStick ... they're not doing that well with the game sales..."
Taylor told Polygon that part of the reason why BlackBerry decided to enable gamepad support for the BlackBerry 10 is because it wants its device to be something that users can take with them anywhere they go and still be able to play games, and to have their progress persist whether they are playing on their TV at home or on the bus.
"We looked at a lot of trends that are going on, and you see the Ouya and GameStick, and they're not doing that well with the game sales because, while some people thought it was cool at first, you essentially have to keep two Android devices," Taylor said. "You can't bring the console to your friend's house and keep going. If you play on your phone on the bus and get a high score, you come home and the same game on the console is out of sync. So our approach is to make something where you can continue your gaming."
BlackBerry is also beginning a push to encourage more game developers to make games for the BlackBerry with gamepad functionality. The platform now works with Unity, and Taylor said developers can enable joystick controls for the BlackBerry 10 by simply using the Unity joystick API.
The company is expected to reveal more in the coming weeks about the incentives it is offering developers for making games for BlackBerry, but Taylor hinted that developers who make games with game controller support will likely be featured on the BlackBerry storefront.
"Be the first to bring your games and we'll make it worth your while," he said.