Rumor: Apple courting developers to support official gaming controller [u]

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple has allegedly developed its own dedicated gaming controller for release at some point in the future, a development that, if true, could drastically reshape the face of the video game industry.

Update: The extremely reliable Jim Dalrymple of The Loop has weighed in on the matter, saying, "Nope."

retro
Pictured: The Apple IIe Joystick (via My Old Computers)


Multiple sources at the 2013 Game Developers Conference have told Pocket Gamer that, in secret meetings at the San Francisco, Calif., convention, Apple representatives have been talking to developers about the company's plans and lining up developers so that the gaming peripheral will enjoy wide support upon its release. The notoriously secretive iPad maker is said to be operating at GDC under a pseudonym in order to avoid media attention.

Details on the form factor of the controller are unknown. Also unknown is when gamers could expect such a device to be unveiled. Current speculation points to an April event focusing on the iPad or perhaps Apple's longtime "hobby" of "intense interest," the Apple TV.

Should Apple's rumored controller be unveiled alongside an updated Apple TV, such an event would largely confirm earlier rumors that Apple was preparing to make a push to turn its "hobby" into a much bigger pillar within the company. Those rumors had Apple revealing a standard development kit (SDK) and possibly opening the App Store for operation on its set-top box, two elements that would likely be necessary were Apple to release a controller for iOS/Apple TV gaming.

Apple's iOS devices have in short time become a major platform for game development, with games from previously unknown developers going on to sell in the millions of copies. The touchscreen form factor of the devices, though, has to some extent kept them from functioning as serious, dedicated gaming platforms.

Some major developers have introduced ports of successful titles for Apple's devices, specially crafted to suit the touchscreen. These titles, though, tend to be from a limited range of game genres.

The introduction of a controller would open iOS or Apple TV to a wider span of titles, and ? taken in conjunction with the popularity of Apple devices ? could reshape the gaming landscape in a short period of time. Noted gaming figures, including the designer of Microsoft's Xbox and Valve's Gabe Newell, have pointed out that the traditional gaming heavyweights would likely be in trouble should Apple decide to get into the gaming hardware industry in a bigger fashion.

Apple won't be the only company looking to disrupt the gaming industry in the near future. Chief rival Samsung, while introducing the Galaxy S4, also unveiled a physical controller much in the vein of Microsoft's standard Xbox controller. Also, upstart gaming company Ouya has begun shipping its eponymous, Android-based game console with the hopes of bringing the emotional element of traditional console gaming back in the increasingly mobile-dominated game sector.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 108
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Waiting for someone to say "Who needs controllers? Just use a keyboard and mouse."

    Or how about sticking little stubs and buttons onto the iPhone screen?
  • Reply 2 of 108
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member


    People here have been saying this for a long time now!


     


    Apple needs to be on top of things, and they should definitely release an Apple branded game controller.


     


    It would be awesome! Third party controllers made by small companies don't have the clout to get universally accepted, but Apple certainly does! Every developer would be jumping on this and making certain games that are compatible with this Apple controller.


     


    Gaming has taken off in a big way on iOS, and Apple needs to move in and deliver the final death blow now. Release an awesome controller and take no prisoners!


     


    Some gaming people and typical gaming nerds are living in total denial, and refuse to accept that iOS is changing gaming in a big way. This summer, we'll even have XCOM:Enemy Unknown on iPhones and iPads, the full game supposedly! iOS gaming is a hell of lot more than Angry Birds type of games! There will be no Android release of course for XCOM, as Android is complete crap and most developers are not interested in wasting their time with Android crap.


     


    And in 2014, Nintendo will finally cave in and release their classics for iOS, according to a rumor started by Apple ][.

  • Reply 3 of 108
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,138member


    I think this would go great with some kind of new AppleTV that supports apps. Then you could have games right on your TV. 

  • Reply 4 of 108
    am8449am8449 Posts: 349member
    If Apple were to introduce an iTV that is also a gaming machine, that would certainly be much more value added than just a straight TV.
  • Reply 5 of 108
    add a phone to the iPad and iPad mini and then you would have gaming, iPhone, music and apps all in one nice bundle with the new game controller. The Sky Gamblers games are good on the iPad, but a special controller would be welcome (as well as adding a phone.)
  • Reply 6 of 108
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    I'm an iCade fan, but that's a retro style of controller perfect for only certain game types. A modern, widely-supported controller (be it for touch devices or AppleTV) would be welcome!


     


    At first it could have killed touch and tilt gaming: developers would have been lazy and just required the controller. That day has passed: it's time to branch out! (AppleTV vs. Ouya could be interesting.)


     


    If the rumors have multiple developer sources, that does make it sound like it might be a) real and b) not too many months off.

  • Reply 7 of 108
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member


    I hope this is true. Playing Pac-Man without a physical controller is not fun.

  • Reply 8 of 108

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post


    I think this would go great with some kind of new AppleTV that supports apps. Then you could have games right on your TV. 



     


    Bingo!  Up until now, iOS games have been limited to casual gaming.  With a quality controller and AppleTV, iOS can compete directly with the consoles.  Very good news!

  • Reply 9 of 108
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,316member
    If they're out there at a games dev conference talking about it, spreading rumours it might just around the corner.

    Could be a scam though. Anonymous guy posing as apple employee, ha ha..
  • Reply 10 of 108
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 631member
    palegolas wrote: »
    If they're out there at a games dev conference talking about it, spreading rumours it might just around the corner.

    Could be a scam though. Anonymous guy posing as apple employee, ha ha..

    That would be hilarious!
    "Anonymous sources close to Apple said yesterday.." Yeah right!
  • Reply 11 of 108
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member


    I agree that this seems suspect. Apple's style is to bring select folks to Cupe, make them sign their souls etc away and then give them the full details so they have a version ready to show at WWDC. After which everyone else gets the developers kit etc.

  • Reply 12 of 108
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Update: The extremely reliable Jim Dalrymple of The Loop has weighed in on the matter, saying, "Nope."

     


     


    Damn, that is rather unfortunate, because that guy is almost never wrong.


     


    So, if this rumor is untrue at the present time, then I still think that this is something that Apple should be doing, and they should do it sooner rather than later. What are they waiting for?

  • Reply 13 of 108
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    I like Jim Dalrymple but I don't believe him this time. Multiple sources said Apple was at the show and Apple would be STUPID to not come out with a controller when Sony and Microsoft are going to rule the holiday sales with their new consoles. And guess what? Most families aren't going to buy a Playstation 4 AND an iPad.
  • Reply 14 of 108
    More important the the controller will be a standard SDK for supporting game controllers for iOS. This would allow both Apple and third parties to design game controllers that will work with all games that support the SDK. Remember that Apple will be make a lot more money selling iOS devices than game controllers but having a first party reference design will be needed to get the ball rolling. I suggested this approach to Apple about two years ago. I hope this rumor is true.
  • Reply 15 of 108


    Wow, I used to have one of those joysticks! :D My family was probably the few, if not the only one to have a home computer back in the 80's, in my neighborhood in Brazil - let alone an Apple II :) Brings back fond memories of designing stuff in Logo and playing Lode Runner!

  • Reply 16 of 108
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,440moderator
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    I like Jim Dalrymple but I don't believe him this time. Multiple sources said Apple was at the show and Apple would be STUPID to not come out with a controller when Sony and Microsoft are going to rule the holiday sales with their new consoles. And guess what? Most families aren't going to buy a Playstation 4 AND an iPad.

    Yeah, Jim Dalrymple can't realistically know everything that Apple is doing or that would be one serious leak problem. He probably wasn't aware of the iPhone or iPad.

    Apple was definitely at GDC:



    It's true they might not have been there to talk about a controller, it could have just been to promote putting awesome games on the iPad but a controller would require support from developers prior to launch and Apple can't do that themselves. An iPad and iPhone in September with Rogue graphics and a physical controller would be pretty neat. Kids could sit in the back of the car and play games without holding the iPad.
  • Reply 17 of 108
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    Maybe not...
    http://www.loopinsight.com/2013/03/29/the-rumored-apple-branded-gaming-joypad/

    Someone beat me to it. Need to view all first next time :)
  • Reply 18 of 108
    wovelwovel Posts: 956member
    Marvin wrote: »
    bdkennedy1 wrote: »
    I like Jim Dalrymple but I don't believe him this time. Multiple sources said Apple was at the show and Apple would be STUPID to not come out with a controller when Sony and Microsoft are going to rule the holiday sales with their new consoles. And guess what? Most families aren't going to buy a Playstation 4 AND an iPad.

    Yeah, Jim Dalrymple can't realistically know everything that Apple is doing or that would be one serious leak problem. He probably wasn't aware of the iPhone or iPad.

    Apple was definitely at GDC:



    It's true they might not have been there to talk about a controller, it could have just been to promote putting awesome games on the iPad but a controller would require support from developers prior to launch and Apple can't do that themselves. An iPad and iPhone in September with Rogue graphics and a physical controller would be pretty neat. Kids could sit in the back of the car and play games without holding the iPad.

    There are better reasons for Apple to be there.

    I doubt you can find where Jim denied the iPhone or iPad. He doesn't tend to comment for no reason.
  • Reply 19 of 108
    ankleskaterankleskater Posts: 1,287member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post





    Yeah, Jim Dalrymple can't realistically know everything that Apple is doing or that would be one serious leak problem.




    Indeed. But that's why he comments only sparingly on rumors, and only drops the definitive yup or nope when he is sure.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    He probably wasn't aware of the iPhone or iPad.

     


     


    But he didn't say nope prior to their launches.


     


    I honestly do not remember a single instance when Dalrymple had been wrong when he directly confirmed or denied a rumor. He doesn't have in-depth knowledge about tech and relies on his sources to maintain his rep. So he only makes proclamations when he is 100% sure.

  • Reply 20 of 108
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    I can think of one game controller apple already makes.  It has an i next to its name.

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