Apple working on physical game controller for iPads and other iOS devices

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


With Google's Android operating system already bundling rudimentary support for external gaming devices, Apple is reportedly working on its own physical controller to similarly enhance gameplay on its iPad and other mobile devices.



In his review of Apple's new iPad and its gaming graphics prowess, AnandTech's Anand Lal Shimpi reports that he has been made aware of "an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market," but said his sources were unable to determine whether the company has made a definitive decision to follow through on its efforts.



Regardless, Lal Shimpi believes such devices may soon be a necessary accompaniment for hardcore mobile gamers, especially as smartphones and tablets come close to equalling the performance of existing game consoles.



He adds that the iPad maker may also be feeling some pressure to this end from rival Google, which has baked in basic wired and wireless controller support into its Android operating system since the release of Honeycomb 3.0 roughly one year ago.



Along with their Android counterparts, iOS devices have emerged as a new frontier for game developers, with one research firm indicating that the two platforms saw their combined share of U.S.-based game software revenue rise more than threefold from just 19% in 2009 to an estimated 58% by the end of last year.



Their success has come at the expense of incumbents Nintendo and Sony, who saw their respective share of software sales slip from 70% to 36% and 11% to 6%, respectively, over the same period.





ThinkGeek's $25 iCade 8-Bitty is one example of a third-party iPad gaming controller already on the market.







The situation faced by Nintendo and Sony shows signs of worsening this year, with Sony recently reporting a staggering loss of $1.2 billion for the December quarter shortly after Nintendo reported the first ever operating loss ($575 million) in its corporate history.



Meanwhile, Apple has quietly been assembling an arsenal of seasoned gaming executives to help leverage its momentum in the gaming space as it takes a head-on approach to combating encroachment from Google and others.



Most recently, the company was reported to have lured Robin Burrowes away from heading up Microsoft's overseas XBox Live team. His hiring followed the recruit of Nintendo's public relation's chief Robert Saunders last year, as well as Nick Grange -- who also at one point ran public relations for Xbox, as well as for gaming heavyweights Activision and Electronics Arts.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • olliewalliewhiskersolliewalliewhiskers Posts: 434member
    paired with apps on AppleTV, this would be a gamechanger.
  • s8er01zs8er01z Posts: 144member
    Just license the xbox controller from MS and call it a day.
  • blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,187member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post


    paired with apps on AppleTV, this would be a gamechanger.



    That's pretty much the only way it makes sense to me, because if you're using the iPad as the screen then I think it would become rather cumbersome to have to hold both the iPad and the game controller, or to have the game controller connected to the iPad.



    I guess you could put the iPad on a stand and treat it like a mini-TV, but that seems contrary to what an iPad is designed to be (aka, a mobile device).
  • drdoppiodrdoppio Posts: 1,132member
    Awesome! I hope this controller has a capacitive touchscreen -- what could be better and more intuitive in a game than using your fingers! A big Retina display screen would make this game controller irresistible!
  • uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member
    It's about time.



  • uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ...the iPad maker may also be feeling some pressure to this end from rival Google[ View article on AppleInsider ][/URL]



    Let's see. Apple's market cap is more than twice that of Google.



    Apple Market Cap: 567.87B

    Google Market Cap: 207.69B



    Yep. Apple is feeling the pressure all right.
  • jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member
    The iPad is the game controller.



    J.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,813member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post


    The iPad is the game controller.



    J.



    Correct and I believe they were discussing the virtual controller interfaces through sensors and software.
  • boxmaccaryboxmaccary Posts: 146member
    Me love Apple long time ....



    And it's just as well -- since this 8-bitty's taking forever & a day to get restocked at ThinkGeek.



    Much much rather go the Apple Way, anyhoo ....
  • paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,083member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post


    The iPad is the game controller.



    J.



    I am not a gamer but it strikes me that when your eyes are on the television screen or computer monitor, an iPhone or iPad is not the ideal type of game controller.
  • trip1extrip1ex Posts: 109member
    This stuff is over hyped.



    I like my iPad as an iPad.



    If I want games on my tv I will buy a console which are quite cheap right now and include a controller and have plenty of inexpensive games to play.





    iPad games would be cheaper than even $20 360 games but you can't trade them in and most weren't created with anywhere near the same budget.



    The iPad setup would be a hassle too. Streaming games to the ATV introduces lag into the equation and the result is a game that doesn't feel that tight and crisp. And you have to plug your iPad into an outlet much of the time as the battery would drain fast in games.



    Then you have to question just how much developers cater to a controller when much of the install base won't bother buying one.



    An iPad is also $500+. Then you are asked to buy the ATV or a special HDMI cable plus a controller which will probably be $50 at least.



    On top of it we will see new consoles starting this year with the Wii U and the year after will probably see the 360 launch and maybe the PS3. That is when this iPad as a games console talk will fade away.
  • gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post


    paired with apps on AppleTV, this would be a gamechanger.



    It'll definitely get the 'guys without a life' market on board, so great.

    But the population of people who will want to futz with a last-century D-Pad instead of using accelerometer, compas, gyro and touch will be a small percentage of overall iOS users.



    No harm in adding the API support.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,068member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    He adds that the iPad maker may also be feeling some pressure to this end from rival Google,



    Apple has never done anything due to 'pressure' from another company. If they do this it will be because they see value in it. Not because someone else did it and they want to compete. same with a 5-7 inch something, same with an actual TV set etc.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post


    paired with apps on AppleTV, this would be a gamechanger.



    Puns intended I'm sure.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jnjnjn View Post


    The iPad is the game controller.



    I still say this. If not the iPad then the iphone/touch.



    Airplay lets you send any app to the Apple TV and developers can code special modes for when you are using Airplay that send part of the screen only. Like Real Racing HD does. There's already apps that allow you to use your iPhone as a controller with an iPad. One of the is called something like The Incident. I saw it at an Apple store on their demo iPads and iPhones over the holidays. People talk about how we must have a joystick etc but do we. Temple Run and Monster Dash do just fine with their flicks and taps and you don't have to look at the screen to do them correctly. Its all in the coding
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,052member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BoxMacCary View Post


    Me love Apple long time ....



    And it's just as well -- since this 8-bitty's taking forever & a day to get restocked at ThinkGeek.



    Much much rather go the Apple Way, anyhoo ....



    Well the other reason is that I expect any such Apple controller to receive full API support in iOS, making it much more likely to get broad support from games. Then Nintendo and Sony can watch their backs.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,068member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post


    Streaming games to the ATV introduces lag into the equation and the result is a game that doesn't feel that tight and crisp.



    I stream HD video off my iPad all the time and that has no lag. I can't see that a game would be much different. After all, in both cases you aren't streaming from the internet but locally and with a locked network on a decent router you have good throughput with no leeches.
  • gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post


    Let's see. Apple's market cap is more than twice that of Google.



    Apple Market Cap: 567.87B

    Google Market Cap: 207.69B



    Yep. Apple is feeling the pressure all right.



    And don't forget that Android accounts for .5B in revenue to GOOG with the vast majority of their mobile income coming from iOS.



    'Android is winning'.
  • uguysrnutsuguysrnuts Posts: 459member
    I don't know about you, but paying $60 plus for the latest games like Arkham City, Assassins's Creed, Deus Ex, Modern Warfare, Call of Duty, etc. etc. is hardly inexpensive.



    Let's not forget the DLCs(downloadable content/XBOX360). These are typically $10, which is the price usually reserved on high end games on iOS.



    That said, I don't mind sticking with touch only controls, provided developers can actually fully take advantage of it. I stopped playing Modern Combat 3 due to Gameloft's inane interpretation of how touch control should be implemented.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trip1ex View Post


    plenty of inexpensive games to play.



  • galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Apple should build this controller on Kickstarter. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...rt-controllers
  • prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    With Google's Android operating system already bundling rudimentary support for external gaming devices, Apple is reportedly working on its own physical controller to similarly enhance gameplay on its iPad and other mobile devices. ...



    Never happen.



    These reports come up every once in a while and they are always wrong. The reason is that the so-called "hard core" gamers are under the illusion that the games they play are the only kind of games, the only "real" games that "real hard-core" gamers will play when in fact it's a dying category.



    The gaming industry is currently booming in all categories except shooters (FP or otherwise), and war games. Since this is pretty much the only category for which you need a dedicated, physical, controller, the idea that Apple will turn their new platform on it's head to accommodate these games is really just a fantasy.



    Those kind of games aren't going away anytime soon, but the idea that the newly resurgent games market Apple is leading has to jump through hoops by creating a physical controller for this single, fading, games category is ridiculous.
  • juggernaut30juggernaut30 Posts: 55member
    Listen everyone. Just calm down. Apple doesn't need to sink a ton of cash into this. Just bake in easy pairing for a specific controller button layout then let the 3rd party manufactures and game developers take it from there. Apple should not have to invest hardly any resources into it. I would love to continue to play my casual games while out and about in the world. Then come home and pop the iPad into a stand and pick up a controller to play my hard core games. Just give me the choice.
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