New iPad Gamevice
Based on Kevin's review of the GameVice for iPad mini I've purchased the new GameVice for iPad. Like may in the forum I've been waiting for, and excited about, this controller for a very long time. It arrived today! I've also purchased/own the Original HoriPad and the Speedy, I had the GameVice for iPhone for a short time, and I use a PS4 remote for PC gaming, so those are what my comments below are comparing it to.
I played with the new GameVice for iPad for a solid hour and it was very comfortable, and my arms weren't tired. I feel like I could use it for several hours without issue. The width was very comfortable for me. It is lighter than I expected it to be, and it doesn't feel as solid as the HoriPad or Speedy, but I guess that's the trade off to make it comfortable to use.
The sticks and buttons feel good, and seem to work well. However, the D-Pad is another story. It feels good, but it's loud and the 'crosstalk' is absolutely horrific. I always use Ms. PacMan as my D-Pad test. On the HoriPad, Speedy and PS4 remote I have absolutely no issues clearing the first screen without losing a guy. It was very difficult for me to even clear the screen at all with the GameVice due to the crosstalk issue, as it was mis-registering probably 20-30% of the presses. This is the same problem I had with the GameVice for iPhone, and is why it got sent back. I found this pretty disappointing since Kevin has referred to the GameVice as one of the best 3 D-Pads, up there with the Original HoriPad and Speedy. I bought both of those devices based on his reviews, and I found those reviews to be spot-on. However, I haven't found the the D-Pads on the two GameVices I tried to be anywhere close to the quality of the Speedy and the HoriPad.
At this point I'm ready to send it back based on the poor D-Pad since I primarily play retro games. I'll be interested to see Kevin's review and if others have the same experience as me.
I received the iPad version too but haven't focused on the dpad yet. May be able to try it later. I'm sure Kevin will include a detailed analysis of it in his review.
I'm still spending time putting the Gamevice through its paces, but I'll share some initial impressions:
The weight is a non-issue for me, even with the first-gen Air. I spent much of last night lying in bed playing Final Fantasy IX, and it was very pleasant. The angled handles actually work better here than they do with the Mini, IMHO. I'd still have preferred non-angled, WiiU-style handles.
The d-pad is good, in my opinion. I might have hyped up the Mini's d-pad a bit much in retrospect, but at the time, it was SO FAR BEYOND any other MFi controller. This one is still good, but I think the Horipad Ultimate has it beat. This one is a bit stiff, but that went away from my Mini's d-pad after a while, so we'll see.
I'm not getting any cross-talk with the d-pad. I'm actually not sure what you're talking about there. Is it a technical defect, where you're getting inputs you aren't pressing? Or is it just too sensitive to horizontal and vertical motion for your taste?
Originally I thought it was a combination of the stiffness and over sensitivity in all directions. It would mis-register just as much on horizontal actions as it did on vertical actions. However, I noticed that it varies from game to game.
The D-Pad worked perfectly for Lego LotR, and absolutely horrifically for Ms. PacMan from the App Store (as in, after playing a bit it would suddenly stop registering most up/down directions, and maybe 1 of 10 would work until I restarted the game). For Ms. PacMan using iMame4All and Provenance it's in between, but 1942 in both those apps works absolutely fine, which seems odd given they are using the same emulators - though I guess each game may have different input tuning. It's almost like it has a 'driver' issue, as it's performance just isn't consistent between games, whereas the HoriPad and Speedy are very consistent and work perfectly in all games I've tried.
What games have you tried the GameVice with so far? Do you have a standard test pattern that you run all the controllers through? If so do you have it posted some where?
I have the original HoriPad, and I agree that the Hori's seem to have the Best D-Pad - it's as good as my PS4 D-Pad, or any D-Pad I've ever used. I never feel like is mis-registers. The Speedy is just slightly below it for me, as it occasionally feels like I clearly pushed one direction, and it went another, but this doesn't happen often, and it's my default mobile controller (even though the HoriPad is better) because of the iPhone holder. I had hopes for the Nimbus, but given what you said about it's D-Pad in your review I haven't even tried it yet. The GameVice feels worse than my X-Box 360 controller ... significantly worse.
I did initially have similar cross-talk problems with the Speedy, but they were gone after 20-30 minute of play once the D-Pad loosened up. The GameVice is far worse the the Speedy ever was, even after 3 hours of play, and it doesn't really feel like it's getting any better, which really stinks because I love everything else about this controller. I'll keep playing with it to see if it will loosen up like you said the iPad Mini version did.
I've been playing the Gamevice consistently since getting it, but I haven't seen any of the issues you've been describing yet.
I do NOT have a standard testing protocol - I generally try to use it normally, playing a variety of different games. I always test inputs in Game Controller Tester, which is a good way to quickly see if there are any obvious hardware defects.
I've tested with a lot of games so far... let's see, I've tested with Final Fantasy IX, Sonic, Mos Speedrun 2, Adventures of Mana, KOTOR, Lego Star Wars, GTA, Oceanhorn, Muffin Knight, Venture Kid... probably a few more I'm not remembering! The only one I've had any issues with is Mos Speedrun 2, which seemed to trigger a jump on ANY vertical d-pad movement, no matter how slight.
I plan on getting a working copy of RetroArch running soon, before I get the review up - I always like to test with that emulator, because I'm VERY familiar with how the games are supposed to run.
If the d-pad is the most important thing, the Horipad Ultimate is tough to beat. So far, the Gamevice feels a bit stiff for my taste, but I really haven't encountered the game-breaking issues you've been describing. But you can bet I'll be booting up Ms PacMan and trying to replicate the issue!
The Horipad, Horipad Ultimate, and Speedy all have great d-pads, IMHO. But I also consider the Gamevice a top-tier d-pad controller, despite its stiffness, so you'll have to read my reviews with that frame of thought!
Give me a list of games you're having obvious cross-talk issues with. Boot up Game Controller Tester, see if you can get a video of what you're describing there. Believe me, I want to be able to reproduce what you're talking about!
I'll be interested to see if you have the same Ms. Pac Man issues. I'll download Game Control tester and see what it says, maybe I have a bum device. The PacMan games (all of them)seem to be the worst D-Pad offenders ... not sure if it's something with the input and how it's read versus other games. It could be my standard test apps just have a problem with the GameVice, though it happens in all versions (in 3 different apps) so that's a bit odd.
I've read all your reviews! ... that's why I own a HoriPad and a Speedy (and now a GameVice) 😉
I mentioned the issue you were having (and linked to the thread) on Twitter. The Gamevice representative said they forwarded this to the engineers, and they'll be looking into it 😊
My Name is Errol and I work with Gamevice.
I may have missed it but which model do you have?
And it is possible you have a faulty unit. If you could send us an email at Support@Gamevice.com we can get your situation worked out.
Hey, I booted up Pac Man and tested for myself, I'm definitely seeing what you're talking about!
The Gamevice seems to be VERY sensitive to any off-axis movements on the d-pad. Ideally, it would have a small deadzone before it registers diagonal movements.
Actually, most games are supposed to be smart enough to code in a slight deadzone of their own. Pac Man (and Mos Speedrun 2) do not code in any deadzone
I am not a game developer, but can a digital controller be compensated in software with a dead zone? I can understand an analog controller but a 8 way joystick just has 8 values I think. If the hardware is just too sensitive, I don't think there is much that can be done.
Yeah, because the d-pad (and all MFi inputs) are actually analog. All a developer would have to do is ignore the extremely low-pressure values
Thanks Kevin, I'm glad it's not just me ... well, not really I guess, but I'm glad I'm not nuts! 😊. I completely forgot about the whole deadzone thing. If all MFi inputs are analog, then why would the GameVices D-Pad act differently than the HoriPad or Speedy? Don't they all use the same MFi driver when they link to the iOS device? I assumed they do, as you don't really ever have to install device drivers.
I have the new GameVice for the iPad Air. I also had (and returned) the GameVice for iPhone, as it suffered the same problems. Since Kevin seems to have the same issues I'm guessing we don't have defective devices, but I'll shoot support an email.
Hey guys just received my new Gamevice using with a Pro 9.7 and it’s amazing, I wanted to check though as you have mentioned so dpad input quirks, I’d like to know if the ones I’m seeing are also due to the same issue. FFVI for example is generating false inputs and movement is not working correctly. This doesn’t happen in FFIX though if anyone can test this it would be appreciated.