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Updated US start-up Worldwide Widget Works wants to turn Palm's PDA into a handheld gaming platform by developing the first game controller for the Palm III and VII series machines.

The GamePad will clip onto the bottom of the PDA, hooking up to the latter's HotSync connector. It sports a GameBoy-style joypad button plus four action keys.

Now given the way our Tim here in The Reg office has given his Palm V's buttons a mighty pummelling playing Asteroids on his handheld, we suspect there a rather a lot of Palm gamers out there who are going to like GamePad.

Tim will have to wait a while, however - the GamePad will initially only work with III and VII series Palm's, though WWW's Web site notes that the company is doing preliminary work on producing versions for other Palm PDAs.

In any case, games developers will have to modify their titles to support the GamePad. WWW has caused some controversy by charging $90 for the SDK plus an early GamePad. Since many Palm games are freeware, game authors are unlikely to want to spend money to add support for the GamePad.

However, WWW representative Jeff Stripling noted on PalmStation.com's bulletin board that the high price is simply to cover the cost of the initial GamePad production run, and that once volume production of the hardware begins next month, the company will give the SDK away for free.

"We really want to work with game developers and we want every Palm game to work with the GamePad," he wrote. "We have worked hard on the GamePad and we hope to now have fun with our Palms and GamePads by playing as many great games as possible."

WWW's announcement follows Handspring's recent unveiling of its $39.99 Game Face for the company's PalmOS-based Visor PDA, which simply a joystick that clips onto the Visor and pushes the PDA's buttons. The GamePad costs $39.95. ®

Tim 'Palm V' Richardson writes: I can confirm that my Palm V is now f**ked after 457 games of astroids (it tells you how many times you've played) three button of the four went for a burton - one jammed inside rendering the machine useless. It is officially shagged out.

Related Links

WWW's Palm GamePad site
PalmStation.com's GamePad strand

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