Last week after excitedly writing about id’s Rage appearing on the iPhone, I suggested that one of the biggest barriers for touchscreen gaming – for console-esq experiences – is the lack of tactile buttons. Slipping and sliding over what feels like a forced control scheme doesn’t do it for a lot of gamers, myself included, though there are a few exceptions to the rule. Our prayers could have been answered by a Japanese company called Strapya who are selling Tactile Plus stickers; translucent ‘nubs’ that can be fixed to the screen of your mobile device, ridding you of any further frustrations. But of course now you’ll be up against that dreaded situation of having fragments of gelatinous residue left on the screen when the stickers are removed. I would hope the nubs’ glue is that which doesn’t mark screens but I for one am not willing to take that risk! So how about leaving them on? Well, would you want to read texts and watch videos through nubs?
When iPhone OS 3.0 was released, it was said to unlock the ability to add third-party peripherals to iDevices with many hoping that gaming cradles would be produced, adding real buttons but also bulking out the frame. Nothing ever came to fruition and is unlikely to ever do so since Apple new ethos on their handhelds is that if customers need a stylus, Apple have failed. Viewing the humble stylus as the work of the devil would suggest an aversion to allowing some form of casing with buttons to be plugged into iPhones and iPads. Shame.