I previously wrote about fragmentation of iOS games controllers, with the GameDock providing a different system from the somewhat popular iCade. Before that, I questioned the sanity in app-specific controllers, because it made no sense that someone would buy a controller for one game or set of games.

Duo had form in this, creating Atari Arcade, an Atari-branded controller specifically for the mediocre Atari’s Greatest Hits, which includes a bunch of arcade games that really only work with their original controllers that weren’t joystick-based. So Atari Arcade is not only more limited than the iCade, but a non-optimal experience with the only games it works with. Great.

Duo’s now announced Duo Gamer and Duo Pinball. Again, these appear to be specific to certain companies—the Gamer ” plays exclusively with top-rated Gameloft apps” and the Duo Pinball? Yup: “Duo Pinball works exclusively with the games from Gameprom listed on the website”. What’s most baffling about this isn’t that Duo has started from this position (iCade, remember, initially only worked with Atari’s compilation), but that the website FAQs appear to suggest it wishes to remain there:

I’m a developer; can I use the Duo Gamer for my game?
No, the Duo Gamer works exclusively with Gameloft games. If you’re interested in using a controller for your games please email controllerdev@discoverybaygames.com.

I’m a developer; can I use the Duo Pinball for my game?
No, the Duo Pinball works exclusively with Gameprom games. If you’re interested in using a controller for your games please email controllerdev@discoverybaygames.com.

So the aim appears to be “we will design a controller specifically for your games, rather than adding value to our existing products”. Perhaps I’m missing something, but this seems like a perfect way to send your hardware rapidly to the bargain bins, once people realise quite how limited it is. Still, perhaps the press will help out. After all, while not being thrilled with the Duo Pinball itself, Slide to Play said in its review:

Duo Pinball controller works with games from just one company, Gameprom, the makers of the best pinball games on the App Store

Well, I guess Pinball Arcade and Zen Pinball must be figments of my imagination. Lucky me.