So Sony Ericsson just release their Xperia PLAY (the much-vaunted "PlayStation Phone", and they even acknowledge the bloggers who've dubbed it as such). Right now, there's gotta be at least a couple of hardcore iPhone gamers who are suffering the initial pangs of envy — after all, it's a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out, full-size PS-style hand controller, plus it's currently only available on Verizon's cell network.
Fear not, Death Star iPhoners: accessory house iThrough has your answer. They're called "Thumbies" (US$9.49), and consist of a set of five game control "buttons:" two directionals plus single, double, and triple "action" buttons. Each button/controller has a suction cup backing to adhere directly to your iPhone 4 screen, right where your thumbs would be. Interestingly, they don't require any additional app or drivers to work: a quick perusal of the packing lists a variety of popular first-person shooters, platform adventures, sports games, etc., that are ready to run with the Thumbies.
In practice, we found that, while the buttons do work as advertised, they don't adhere that firmly to the screen (i.e. loss risk), and the soft-silicone construction means you have to take extra care with between-game storage (i.e. damage risk). Nevertheless, iPhone gamers who want a more full-size console experience may want to invest the ten clams and give the Thumbies a try.
Check out our hands-on review below: