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

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
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 ]
post #2 of 55
paired with apps on AppleTV, this would be a gamechanger.
post #3 of 55
Just license the xbox controller from MS and call it a day.
post #4 of 55
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).
post #5 of 55
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!
post #6 of 55
It's about time.

Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #7 of 55
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.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #8 of 55
The iPad is the game controller.

J.
post #9 of 55
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.
post #10 of 55
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.
post #11 of 55
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.
post #12 of 55
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.
post #13 of 55
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

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #14 of 55
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.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #15 of 55
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.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #16 of 55
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'.
post #17 of 55
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.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #18 of 55
Apple should build this controller on Kickstarter. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...rt-controllers
post #19 of 55
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.
post #20 of 55
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.
post #21 of 55
An app could be easily, not by me, made that simulates a controller for the iPhone that could pair with the iPad. You saw what that company did with the scrabble game. But I would love to see a slick, aluminum, wireless gaming controller from Apple.
post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

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.

that's what you think

the latest Call of Duty game is a billion $$$ seller every year. Mass Effect is in the hundreds of millions of $$$
post #23 of 55
Amen brotha. A <insert fav expression here> men.

Quote:
Originally Posted by juggernaut30 View Post

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.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #24 of 55
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.

It is an emotional device, rather than journalism. Apple fans like to feel that they are facing adversity.
post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

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.

Difference is these people (and there are a lot of them) are prepared to pay a proper amount for a quality gaming experience, unlike the vast majority of iOS gamers who think everything should be 99 cents.
post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

It is an emotional device, rather than journalism. Apple fans like to feel that they are facing adversity.

A truism of an era past. Apple's fan base is now so wide and huge it includes mostly people who love Apple design and products with no sense of being the underdog. But I agree that among the older Apple fan base (I am one) the sense of facing adversity is a good one. Us against them, kind of thing. Steve Jobs was all about that and it is at the root of the whole apple 'movement' of the past. That feeling prevails in places like this but not really out there in the real world.

No evidence - just my sense of things as I see them.
post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

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).

There is another option. I'd like to see gaming APIs. Pretty much make a standard set of controls easy for game vendors to create on-screen controls that can also be paired to a physical controller with either a pairing of a BT device or plugging in the D-pad module around the iPod Touch, for example.

This would allow a bridge between game developer A and D-pad maker B. Apple could make and market their own but encourage others vendors to make their own would help strengthen their ecosystem.


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.

I'd think going after Sony and Nintendo's makrets to strengthen their iDevice ecosystem makes more sense than feeling threatened by Google.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #28 of 55
I've been saying this for a long time now! If true, then this is good news.

Yeah, there are some third party controllers out there, but none of them have really taken off.

Apple needs to make their own. Only Apple has the power to make millions of them and design a controller that is going to be great and be widely adopted by many games and consumers.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

A truism of an era past. Apple's fan base is now so wide and huge it includes mostly people who love Apple design and products with no sense of being the underdog. But I agree that among the older Apple fan base (I am one) the sense of facing adversity is a good one. Us against them, kind of thing. Steve Jobs was all about that and it is at the root of the whole apple 'movement' of the past. That feeling prevails in places like this but not really out there in the real world.

No evidence - just my sense of things as I see them.

As your sense of things, it is as valid as anybody else's.

When I notice somebody uses an Apple product, and I ask them about their feelings towards Apple (as in "So you like Apple stuff?) I often get one of two responses. Usually either a sheepish "yeah" or an overly proud response. Both of them seem to be inspired by the thought "Here it comes". Both seem to be inspired by an expected need to defend themselves.

So I see the "overcoming adversity" thing as alive and well.

But I agree with you that Apple used to play the "Us against them" card much more in the past (both the Think Different campaign and the I'm a Mac campaign fed into this). And I agree that today, many people buy Apple products who have no inkling of the Old Ways, and are not buying Apple due to any desire to position themselves in society.

In some markets, I think some people buy Apple so to NOT appear different. I bought my kid an MP3 player once that was better than any iPod at the time. He loved it, but when it came tome to replace it, he wanted an iPod. He said he was sick of explaining to people why he had something different.

Tablets are that way today. Anybody/everybody who buys something other than an iPad will be questioned as to their choice. An iPad buyer need not justify anything.

So I think we're in flux, a lot of the Old Ways still exist, and you are correct that there are a bazillion new buyers who know nothing about Apple being the product for the Superior Humans who "Get It".
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

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.

That is weird I play Call of duty on a PC, I haven't touched a controller in months. Lets try to play a non first person shooter like say...The Elder Scrolls IV Skyrim (its no where as simple as infinity blade.) People like consoles because they have a cheaper price of entry, the games being more then a way to pass time on the john, and better multiplier. Yeah the ipad can do a lot of things but it is not going to put dedicated game consoles out.
post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

that's what you think

the latest Call of Duty game is a billion $$$ seller every year. Mass Effect is in the hundreds of millions of $$$

That's my impression as well - that far from being a "dying category", "Hard Core" games are instead an extremely well-selling and profitable category of products.

I'd like to see the OP cite his evidence.
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by I am a Zither Zather Zuzz View Post

That's my impression as well - that far from being a "dying category", "Hard Core" games are instead an extremely well-selling and profitable category of products.

I'd like to see the OP cite his evidence.

A market dying refers to a market shrinking which is relative to previous sales results. It does not mean that a market is unprofitable or that specific products within a market aren't wildly successful.

An example of a dying market is the PMP market, which means the iPod.

Note: I am not commenting on whether the "hardcore" gaming market is shrinking or growing, just noting how the term is oft used.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #33 of 55
is this like the valve source that said a steam console was coming out?

Yeah, I will believe this BS when I see it

And I knowthis is a bias apple site, so I should expect as much, but they should leave the nintendo and sony sales talk to people who actually know what they are talking about, you know with nintendo in massive profit again and the 3ds being the number 1 system in the world
post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

that's what you think

the latest Call of Duty game is a billion $$$ seller every year. Mass Effect is in the hundreds of millions of $$$

As a percentage of overall profits or market share though it's still diminishing. All the other game categories are booming.
post #35 of 55
I am the complete opposite. I have an XBOX360 and 'haven't installed a game in a PC in two years. Games being optimized for consoles first kinda killed my enthusiasm for PC only games.

I do agree that the iOS won't replace consoles anytime soon. Having an option to use a controller is a good thing to have though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post

That is weird I play Call of duty on a PC, I haven't touched a controller in months. Lets try to play a non first person shooter like say...The Elder Scrolls IV Skyrim (its no where as simple as infinity blade.) People like consoles because they have a cheaper price of entry, the games being more then a way to pass time on the john, and better multiplier. Yeah the ipad can do a lot of things but it is not going to put dedicated game consoles out.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #36 of 55
since when are baseless rumors fact?
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post

I am the complete opposite. I have an XBOX360 and 'haven't installed a game in a PC in two years. Games being optimized for consoles first kinda killed my enthusiasm for PC only games.

I do agree that the iOS won't replace consoles anytime soon. Having an option to use a controller is a good thing to have though.

controller is the easy part

only thing holding apple back is flash storage. Mass effect is like 20GB. once idevices come with like 128GB it's all over for 2/3 of the console makers.

or you can do something like release and airport with an apple TV integrated and be able to attack a USB hard drive to play huge games
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

As a percentage of overall profits or market share though it's still diminishing. All the other game categories are booming.

Got any evidence that the category is not growing? Are you backpedaling now?

Are you saying that a "growing" market is a "dying market" if a related category is growing faster?

Or what?

Are console games a "dying market"?
post #39 of 55
Perhaps there is potential huge market for Onlive type of hosting for games on a back end data center.

Onlive already has the infrastructure. But I guess the big part would be convincing game developers to create games with ME3 caliber and run on iOS.

But as some pointed out here, hard core games have very limited market. I mean I don't know how true that is, but I never ever want to be stuck playing Angry Birds (never bought the dang thing) or Where's my Water type games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

controller is the easy part

only thing holding apple back is flash storage. Mass effect is like 20GB. once idevices come with like 128GB it's all over for 2/3 of the console makers.

or you can do something like release and airport with an apple TV integrated and be able to attack a USB hard drive to play huge games
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
Reply
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

Apple should build this controller on Kickstarter. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...rt-controllers

You don't have Adobe Flash....

Was going to back it up but then the above came up, passed...
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