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Apple working with Logitech and Moga for MFi game controllers, details framework at WWDC

post #1 of 73
Thread Starter 
In the clearest sign yet that Apple is serious about supporting dedicated third-party game controllers in iOS, the company held a 45-minute long session at WWDC on Tuesday, showing off app frameworks, hardware mock-ups and a set of preliminary best practices guidelines.

Controller
Slide from Apple's game controller presentation.


During the session, which is available as a video to all registered Apple developers via the WWDC app, it was also announced that Logitech and Moga are already collaborating on initial hardware designs for the game controller. The certified third-party involvement was first spotted by Czech Apple blog Jablickar.

A closer look at the presentation, however, revealed just how serious Apple is in making standardized game controllers a reality in iOS 7. Titled "Integrating with Game Controllers," speakers ran through a fairly comprehensive set of app frameworks and other assets that will help developers code games for the proposed controllers. Logitech even had prototypes on hand.

Apple offered two hardware examples, which were partially outlined in a report earlier this week, with the mock-ups showing a "form-fitting" design that wraps around an iPhone or iPod touch, as well as a standalone controller. Each model features a D-pad, dual analog sticks, four action buttons, and shoulder bumpers/triggers.

The form-fitting version allows users to not only interact via the controller, but also the iOS device's multitouch screen, a layout seen in Sony's PS Vita console. This setup offloads controls previously located on-screen, clearing up valuable real estate on the devices' 4-inch displays.

Controller
Mock-up of "form-fitting" version.


As for the standalone model, Apple notes that it should not be attached to the device in any way, meaning the controller should support a wireless solution such as Bluetooth LE. Controls are nearly identical to the form-fitting version with one major exception: player indicator LEDs. This suggests multiplayer support in an implementation much like Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3.

Controller
Mock-up of standalone controller.


In addition, both controllers will feature a dedicated pause button, something that is built into many iOS games. Also of note are pressure-sensitive buttons, non-drifting D-pads and thumbsticks with no dead zones, and fast report rates for all actuators.

While Apple touted the benefits of having a standardized piece of equipment specifically meant for controlling an iOS game, it made clear that such a device should not be a requirement. The company is, however, looking to help app developers deploy game controller-ready titles in its MFi initiative.

Presenters mentioned multiple times that Apple would be pushing to have the device specifications and accompanying APIs ready for launch this fall in iOS 7.
post #2 of 73
I'd love to get a nice game controller for my Mac.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #3 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'd love to get a nice game controller for my Mac.

^ This.

Whilst Windows has had controller support since serial port joysticks, I have never found the mac to be in any way cooperative. Hopefully that'll now change.

That stand-alone controller is so for Apple TV!
post #4 of 73
I've always thought the only thing keeping portable game players alive was that they had physical buttons. Hopefully, this move will also lead more developers to build richer games for iOS.
post #5 of 73
How is it that you can publish this information. As far as I know, all developers signed an NDA regarding the SDK, and the WWDC sessions and presentations are not supposed to be published. If you tell me that Apple gave you permission to break the NDA then I will accept.
post #6 of 73
Goodbye Nintendo... it was a good century. Once Apple flips the switch on an App Store for my TV... and these controllers are released... it's game over for Nintendo.
post #7 of 73

I'm so glad this is happening, I knew it would one day.
Potable gaming is going to change to iOS at a faster rate after this, if you follow the E3 expo, so many major games are coming out with iPad (maybe iOS) companion games, so Battlefield 4,  you have your standard multi-player (PC & Console), what they added is a support roll that someone on an iPad can join the multi-player, they can bomb the enemy or send in supplies i guess.

Watch dogs is looking amazing, they are going something similar, iPad players help the console players, hacking terminals, unlocking doors.

post #8 of 73
Apple needs to do something with iOS to make it just as good or better than Android. I don't know if this is the truth or not but nearly everyone in the mobile industry claims that Android OS is superior to iOS based on openness and the sheer number of features Android contains.
post #9 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'd love to get a nice game controller for my Mac.

 

I've wanted that for about 8 years.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #10 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spear View Post

How is it that you can publish this information. As far as I know, all developers signed an NDA regarding the SDK, and the WWDC sessions and presentations are not supposed to be published. If you tell me that Apple gave you permission to break the NDA then I will accept.

 

It would probably be a good idea for Apple to revoke any and all developer agreements with people associated with AppleInsider... just to be sure.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #11 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post


^ This.

Whilst Windows has had controller support since serial port joysticks, I have never found the mac to be in any way cooperative. Hopefully that'll now change.

That stand-alone controller is so for Apple TV!

 

I find it hard to believe they'd let a third party handle their controller for the Apple TV.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #12 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I find it hard to believe they'd let a third party handle their controller for the Apple TV.

But it's ok for iPhone? That seems like evidence for my (perhaps overly-enthusiastic) assertion.

Where does your belief come from in this instance?
post #13 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post


^ This.

Whilst Windows has had controller support since serial port joysticks, I have never found the mac to be in any way cooperative. Hopefully that'll now change.

That stand-alone controller is so for Apple TV!

 

One of the reasons I game on Mac is the excellent shareware ControllerMate. I don't believe anything like it exists on Windows! It lets you create custom drivers for USB devices (not sure about Bluetooth) and has worked great with the Logitech gamepad and various mice I have used.

 

By "custom drivers" I mean an insane level of customizability: you can program custom functions with highly complex and context-sensitive logic--all visually. Stack different modules together on the screen and connect them together. Multi-button chording, long- vs. short-presses, auto-repeat--all doable.

 

IF you enjoy devising those custom functionalities. I love it!

 

I do wish my RumblePad had force feedback support on OS X though.

post #14 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

One of the reasons I game on Mac is the excellent shareware ControllerMate...

...IF you enjoy devising those custom functionalities. I love it!

That's awesome, thanks!
post #15 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post


But it's ok for iPhone? That seems like evidence for my (perhaps overly-enthusiastic) assertion.

Where does your belief come from in this instance?

 

I agree that it's at least less likely for Apple TV. Reasons:

 

1. iOS is maturing. No longer fragile. No longer easy to steer in the wrong direction or back itself into a bad corner. Opening up all kinds of crazy controllers too early would have harmed touch gaming. Now, it's fine. But AppleTV's app ecosystem is so new it doesn't even exist yet! And when it appears, it will be new, and fragile, and the "hobby" will still be finding its way. Way too soon to hand over significant interaction factors to third parties.

 

2. AppleTV already comes with a controller--one that will be in need of replacement when (if?) apps arrive. Apple would want to devise that new controller and make sure it works well and is the One True Interface... at least for now.

 

Neither of those is a deal-breaker or a certainty, but they make me doubt.

post #16 of 73
Sony, are you listening to what the rock is saying! Adios because all hell is about to break the f*** loose up in this b****!
I hope we get monster hunters for Apple. OMFG!
Nintendo, see ya baby! It was fun while it lasted.
post #17 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post


That's awesome, thanks!

 

You're welcome. I've actually never had much trouble getting games to accept my RumblePad and varioud Logitech/Razer mice. Not for years. But with ControllerMate I can do a lot more. Haven't tested it yet in Mountain Lion but I believe it works, and they have a site and forum for checking device compatibility.

 

I've actually got Quake Wars set up to work with no keyboard at all, and that's a very complex FPS that needs almost every key, normally. (I use my RumblePad in the left hand, and my 16-button Razer mouse--the best way to aim!--in the right hand. Long-presses and shift-presses handle some rare functions.)

post #18 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I agree that it's at least less likely for Apple TV.

[Reasons]

Neither of those is a deal-breaker or a certainty, but they make me doubt.

Good points. Not really in response, but:

1) Apple TV runs iOS

2) Why spec up a stand-alone controller for iPad use only

3) Can mirror iPad display, why do we need an App Store before this is made for use with an Apple TV?

4) Can't imagine that kind of hardware ever running its own games, but it doesn't need to.

5) Of course, this does not mean Apple cannot also make a 1st party controller

6) Speculating on what Apple won't do isn't as much fun
post #19 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I've actually got Quake Wars set up to work with no keyboard at all, and that's a very complex FPS that needs almost every key, normally. (I use my RumblePad in the left hand, and my 16-button Razer mouse--the best way to aim!--in the right hand. Long-presses and shift-presses handle some rare functions.)

Sold. Absolutely epic!
post #20 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post


Good points. Not really in response, but:

1) Apple TV runs iOS

2) Why spec up a stand-alone controller for iPad use only

3) Can mirror iPad display, why do we need an App Store before this is made for use with an Apple TV?

4) Can't imagine that kind of hardware ever running its own games, but it doesn't need to.

5) Of course, this does not mean Apple cannot also make a 1st party controller

6) Speculating on what Apple won't do isn't as much fun

 

The main thing I'd add is re #3: AirPlay (whether mirrored or transmitted as a second screen) has a lag that is serious to the point of being a deal-breaker for many kinds of games... the kinds of action games (other than driving maybe) where a control might most be wanted. The delay varies but can be significant. (Faster WiFi won't necessarily solve this: it's the processing power to encode/decode. There's even a delay with hard-wired iOS Lightning to HDMI video. Eventually, faster hardware will help a lot. But today it's a problem.)

 

And #5 is about as fun as speculation gets! (Though I don't expect it--until and unless it's the new remote for an updated Apple TV.)

post #21 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I'd love to get a nice game controller for my Mac.

I don't know why. I've had me some consoles in my time, but mouse+keyboard are leagues better than any of them. I prefer 108 buttons to 8, for example.
post #22 of 73

This is very exciting, and it's all coming in the autumn, both new controllers and new games. How fun!!

 

What will be interesting to see is whether this might lead to, or is part of, a plan to put apps on the ATV. Apple could rely on AirPlay Mirroring only for games on the ATV, and therefore the need for games on the ATV doesn't provide any additional reason to put apps on the ATV. I could see this I suppose, but I'd prefer to see apps on the ATV, games of course being a big part of that.

post #23 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme 
One of the reasons I game on Mac is the excellent shareware ControllerMate. I don't believe anything like it exists on Windows!

There are a couple of Windows equivalents for controllers:

http://www.xpadder.com
http://pinnaclegameprofiler.com

ControllerMate is really good software though and does more than controller mapping.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme 
I do wish my RumblePad had force feedback support on OS X though.

The 360 controller does, it looks like Logitech decided to stop supporting it:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3539326?start=0&tstart=0

Maybe with this renewed interest in controllers, they'll add support back in. It would be nice to see the Logitech prototype.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil 
I prefer 108 buttons to 8, for example.

A controller can get limiting with some games but there are advantages like having analog directional controls. w,a,s,d is digital and needs 4 fingers + 3 modifiers for walk/run/crouch. A clickable stick can do it with one thumb - you can move forward gently to walk, forward further to run, click to crouch. Also, because it's analog, you get a smoother movement when you move and look at the same time - it helps when driving quite a lot as it's not full left or right where you get into a tap-fest, you can do a gradual left/right. With digital, you can only move characters 8 fixed directions while the camera is focused on something.

Controllers really help when developers have set out a predefined mapping because you don't have to go through the tedious routine of setting up every game and in-game instructions and quicktime events are easier that way too. Quicktime events are horrible with custom keys, it's like "Press 'k' in the next 2 seconds or you're going to die and start over!' and you panic and wonder why it's asking for 'k' but you look down for it and hit it but when you look back up... dead. With a standard controller, it's just a color or button you're accustomed to.

I'm not a fan of force feedback but in certain games, you get vibration to tell when you are close to unlocking things, which would be difficult to indicate otherwise.
post #24 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Apple needs to do something with iOS to make it just as good or better than Android. I don't know if this is the truth or not but nearly everyone in the mobile industry claims that Android OS is superior to iOS based on openness and the sheer number of features Android contains.

That is the funniest statement I have read in months.
post #25 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobringer View Post

Goodbye Nintendo... it was a good century. Once Apple flips the switch on an App Store for my TV... and these controllers are released... it's game over for Nintendo.

Nintendo?

In my opinion, Microsoft and Sony are on notice as well.

For the first time ever a major game franchise, Deus Ex, was announced for release first on iOS at E3. The graphics are equivalent to the original Xbox suggesting that iOS games are beginning to "catch up." While the Xbox One and Playstation 4 may do well, this may be the last generation of game consoles which may explain Microsoft's curve ball Xbox One better than any other theory.
post #26 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


I don't know why. I've had me some consoles in my time, but mouse+keyboard are leagues better than any of them. I prefer 108 buttons to 8, for example.

C'mon, not this silly talk again :p 

 

play a car game with a keyboard, have fun with that :p play street fighter 4 or tekken enjoy.

personally when playing FPSers, keyboard & mouse is the way to go, it is so so with a controller.

 

if the gaming community thinks a controller is a good idea, then it is a good idea. 

post #27 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zozman View Post

play a car game with a keyboard, have fun with that 1tongue.gif

I do. It's more capable with mouse and keyboard.

I left the emoticon because of the foolishness of the derision.
Quote:
play street fighter 4 or tekken enjoy.

It's exactly like an arcade. I fail to see how a controller somehow does anything that a keyboard cannot.
Quote:
if the gaming community thinks a controller is a good idea, then it is a good idea. 

The gaming community plays on computers, mainly...
post #28 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
I do. It's more capable with mouse and keyboard.

Enjoy

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
It's exactly like an arcade. I fail to see how a controller somehow does anything that a keyboard cannot.

It is exactly like no arcade out there, maybe an internet cafe (if they are still around) The competitive street fighter & tekken players use joysticks, if they don't use joysticks they use control pads, no one uses keyboard (in the pro comps) & for the most part casual player even use joysticks or controllers.

Go to a fighting game forum, just mention your idea, then step back, they will go to town, I seriously doubt that even 1% of the community play on keyboard & less would think it is any good.

my brother was Australian champ 2 or 3 times (at street fighter 2 & he is a top SF4 player), sadly i know too much about the game 1hmm.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
The gaming community plays on computers, mainly...

No...no they don't...

don't tell a gamer how the world of gaming works, it is silly.

PC gamers play on PC, console gamers play on console, a real gamer uses all of them, or at least as many as they can.

 

It's funny replying to what you said, it almost doesn't seem real, feels like I'm being trolled, this can't be real, do you seriously believe that? & do you seriously believe that is the way it is?, you seem like a pretty bright person, I'm not being a dick, it is just way off that's all.

post #29 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zozman View Post

PC gamers play on PC, console gamers play on console...

*sigh* And guess what the ratios are, leading me to my comment... 1rolleyes.gif
Quote:
...real gamer...

Delusion, by the way. Using phrases like this can only hurt your arguments.
post #30 of 73
Eo9kJ.png
post #31 of 73

And just think about the graphic power of the next iPhone (also iPod Touch and Apple TV). :drools:

 

And of course, real physical games per ONKI also.

 

Suddenly, Apple is a major game platform company. Genius.

post #32 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spear View Post

How is it that you can publish this information. As far as I know, all developers signed an NDA regarding the SDK, and the WWDC sessions and presentations are not supposed to be published. If you tell me that Apple gave you permission to break the NDA then I will accept.

Apple doesn't historically enforce the NDA regarding the WWDC, if they did their legal teams would be extremely busy from June every year. In any case I doubt that courts would agree with enforcement of NDAs where the company has already broadcast live some information about an API - as Apple did with this very topic on Monday when Craig either mentioned it, or it was in the slides.( I didn't watch the keynote but I have seen the stills. )

 

See here.

 

http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/12/upcoming-ios-7-apis-gaming-improvements-multitasking-support-airdrop-and-more/

 

As to why the keep the NDA? They don't want people dissing a beta product, but they are comfortable enough with discussions. Hence no legal action, ever.

I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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I wanted dsadsa bit it was taken.
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post #33 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


*sigh* And guess what the ratios are, leading me to my comment... 1rolleyes.gif
Delusion, by the way. Using phrases like this can only hurt your arguments.

 

You don't understand...there is no argument...1wink.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post

Eo9kJ.png

 

That is so cool :) i'll stare at it for a while, the thing it can't factor in is, the people that play on all systems (well most).

 

I think the controller should do well, only time will tell.

post #34 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax 

[gorgeous, interesting charts]

 

These two charts are fantastic, thanks for posting them.

 

What I don't understand about the top chart is that when I look at which games are out there, which games get priority places in stores, which games are promoted way, way, way, way more than any others are such a small percentage of the overall games one's label isn't even visible (FPS) - that just doesn't seem to reflect what I see, and genres like Sports and Fighting are on the decline. I don't doubt the chart, it just seems strange that the games that get nearly universal promotion and coverage are all in decline - I suppose perhaps this isn't reflecting the revenue of these games, perhaps??

 

Good charts, though, really interesting information in them both. Again, thanks TimmyDax!

post #35 of 73
ahh, that chart is fantastic. And sooo many great memories of consoles gone by the by.

How come the pippin doesn't feature? 1wink.gif
It's the heat death of the universe, my friends.
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It's the heat death of the universe, my friends.
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post #36 of 73

OMG!   This could be link to the upcoming Apple TV apps and TV box or TV set. Maybe Apple didnt introduce an Apple TV app store at the WWDC because there is no need to.  When the TV launches, it will support all the iphone apps (16x9 ratio) right from the start. All it needs to do so is a game controller and an all round multi-touch controller. They could introduce the TV App stores only at launch since there will already be so many apps on it.

 

Been a while since I was exited over something Apple is doing.


Edited by herbapou - 6/14/13 at 6:56am
post #37 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post

image...

 

 

wow, thanks for sharing this, very interesting stats.

 

The mobile revolution has really push puzzle games up.

post #38 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

 

I find it hard to believe they'd let a third party handle their controller for the Apple TV.

 

imo this is to adress the Apple TV game side of it.  Apple will probably release some kind of all around controller (remote).

post #39 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlondon View Post

This is very exciting, and it's all coming in the autumn, both new controllers and new games. How fun!!

 

What will be interesting to see is whether this might lead to, or is part of, a plan to put apps on the ATV. Apple could rely on AirPlay Mirroring only for games on the ATV, and therefore the need for games on the ATV doesn't provide any additional reason to put apps on the ATV. I could see this I suppose, but I'd prefer to see apps on the ATV, games of course being a big part of that.

 

Airplay is just horrible for ATV gaming.  It gliches too much. Not to mention you are pretty much in a microwave oven when doing it.

post #40 of 73

Cool charts! What's the source? What group is being surveyed?

 

A couple interesting things jump out at me if they're accurate:

 

• Neat how all the genres are pretty balanced--nothing dominates.

 

• Mac native gaming just about matches all browser-based gaming combined--which includes Facebook? That strikes me as odd.

 

• iPad gaming share is shrinking (a bit) even while iPad sales are skyrocketing, other tablets aren't, and console sales are hurting? Also odd.

 

• Android isn't shown--and it surely has a visible slice of the pie.

 

• iPod Touch isn't shown (could be lumped in with iPhone?). I'm curious about how people use those.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


There are a couple of Windows equivalents for controllers:

http://www.xpadder.com
http://pinnaclegameprofiler.com

ControllerMate is really good software though and does more than controller mapping.

 

Those look useful (especially Game Profiler), but still nowhere near the power and flexibility of Mac-only ControllerMate.

 

(I never heard of Logitech supporting force feedback on OS X... been waiting for years, and must have missed it if they ever did! I got the feeling it was OS X's lack rather than Logitech's? I forget.)

 

Here's just about 1/6 of the flowchart (mostly D-pad-related) for my highly-personalized Quake Wars setup. (This accompanies additional per-vehicle customization done in Quake Wars' own config.) I'm particularly proud of assigning down on the hatswitch to be W (forward). Normally I use the analog stick for all movement, and I set a threshold where the stick automatically adds shift for Run when I push it far enough. And normally I run everywhere. But when I want to be stealthy and silent, and don't want to accidentally push the stick too far, I just move my thumb a centimeter up and hold the bottom of the D-pad for a "safe walk" than won't accidentally run.

 

Most of the other D-pad stuff (green logic) has to do with team communications. Some custom text macros combined with the game's built in audio snippets, etc.

 

 

 

(I also use ControllerMate for other things, like customizing my Razer for Photoshop and making my RumblePad 2 be my media remote when watching movies on Hulu/iTunes/etc.)


Edited by nagromme - 6/14/13 at 8:31am
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