Apple's iOS developer guide hints at dedicated MFi game controller

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Coming on the heels of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, and the subsequent seeding of iOS 7 beta, the company has updated its developers website with a brief guide illustrating what it has in mind for the future of iOS gaming peripherals.

Controller
Source: Apple's Developer Portal


While the developer page is sparse on details, it does offer at least a pair of simple drawings demonstraating possible hardware controller designs suitable for use as part of the company's MFi program.

First spotted by Touch Arcade (via The Verge), the illustrations show two different controller styles. One appears to attach to an iPhone directly, with left/right shoulder bumpers, a D-pad and four action keys essentially turning the device into a rudimentary handheld console like Sony's PS Vita. In the second embodiment, a standalone controller is shown, with a dual-analog stick design looking to be a mashup of controller designs from Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii. Both have home buttons.

While the drawings are mere examples meant for third-party manufacturers and app developers, they are the first sign Apple has given to showing interest in creating some type of standard for iOS gaming hardware.

There are existing products that can interact with iOS devices, either physically or via Bluetooth, but Apple has yet to ratify a reference design which could be used to unify the control scheme of at least some of the thousands of games in the App Store.

Previously, a rumor in March claimed Apple was courting developers at the 2013 Game Developers Conference to sign off on a controller to be released sometime in the near future, but the whispers were squashed by the well-connected Jim Dalrymple of The Loop.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member


    They talked about this for 10 minutes in the Platforms State of the Union talk, which is online. 

     

  • Reply 2 of 56
    airbubbleairbubble Posts: 105member
    This will also explain to others why Apple chose those
    Coloured Bubbles "Love them" for Game Centre that become the
    X-Y buttons.
  • Reply 3 of 56
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    well, this is HUGE. standardized game control bluetooth API's will enable Logitech and the rest to offer snap-in controller frames for the iPod touch and the iPad Mini that could be used for any iPhone/iPad game. combine that with an Apple TV via AirPlay, and for <$200 you have a two screen game console! with lots of good games that cost $10 or less!!

    this is totally disruptive. it's a Wii U killer, flat out*. hard core gamers will still want the XBox One/PS 4 for their big hit games, but that's about all. the second and third tier games will have to compete with iOS games with much lower prices. and so then they will start to sell iOS versions to protect what markets they got.

    *the smartest thing Nintendo could do is make and sell its own iOS game controller and then release iOS versions of its big hit games for it. there is a potential huge new market for them on iOS - they could be the top game maker in the entire Apple ecosystem. but they won't. they think it's still 2007 when they were on top, and they are going to stick to their dreams of re-living past glory until they are nearly bankrupt.
  • Reply 4 of 56
    scruffyscruffy Posts: 23member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post


    They talked about this for 10 minutes in the Platforms State of the Union talk, which is online.They even showed a demo unit, made by Logitech, which is available for developers to try

     



    Where is that online, exactly? Do you have a link? Google is failing me..

  • Reply 5 of 56
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,232member

    This is important. Touch screens work really well for board game apps but they are terrible for action-oriented games like FPS and platformers where you interact indirectly.


     


    Although complex controllers can be off-putting for casual users they do allow for more nuanced gaming experiences. The key is having an agreed control standard in high enough circulation that developers can count on it being present. It's no use if it is only available to some users. Developers always have to code for the lowest common denominator and that impacts negatively on everyone's experience.


     


    My preferred solution for big screen gaming would be an official Apple controller and a dedicated App Store for the Apple TV to avoid Airplay latency entirely. The App Store model alone is enough to make it work. The Wii eShop was lucky to have 1-2 decent games coming out in a month. This market could absolutely explode.

  • Reply 6 of 56
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Scruffy View Post


    Where is that online, exactly? Do you have a link? Google is failing me..



     


    https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/ amd click videos (they block referrers) or use the app

  • Reply 7 of 56
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member


    Sorry.


     


    I'll just wait until I can tell Siri to win my games for me.


     


  • Reply 8 of 56
    airbubbleairbubble Posts: 105member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post


     


    https://developer.apple.com/wwdc/ amd click videos (they block referrers) or use the app



    You can't give out the link it wont work & even if they have a Developer Acc they would have to login 1st.

  • Reply 9 of 56
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member


    Yeah, forget that, but somebody already announced a product: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/06/11/ifrogz-advantage-mobile-gaming-controller-compatib/

  • Reply 10 of 56
    This would be the final nail in the Nintendo coffin. 3DS games cost way to much and my kids would be all over this!
  • Reply 11 of 56
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Bryoncole View Post

    This would be the final nail in the Nintendo coffin. 


     


    How?






    3DS games cost way to much and my kids would be all over this!



     


    "So can it play Mario or any of the other franchises I like?"

    "No."


    "So why would I want it?"

  • Reply 12 of 56
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    Tr
    scruffy wrote: »
    Where is that online, exactly? Do you have a link? Google is failing me..

    Try Bing. :)
  • Reply 13 of 56
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    scruffy wrote: »
    Google is failing me..

    You should make that your sig. On 2nd thought, everyone should.
  • Reply 14 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    tbell wrote: »
    Tr
    Try Bing. :)

    I've tried Bing myself recently. . . again. While I still prefer Google Search, Bing has improved quite a bit over the past several months. Guess MS finally woke up to the fact Google was eating them alive in search. For those that are ditching Google simply because of targeted ads tho, Bing does exactly the same customer tracking for ad delivery. Of course you may not see as many in the sidebar since MS doesn't have the volume of advertisers for now.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/adcenter-overview.aspx
  • Reply 15 of 56
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,435member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    I've tried Bing myself recently. . . again. While I still prefer Google Search, Bing has improved quite a bit over the past several months. Guess MS finally woke up to the fact Google was eating them alive in search. For those that are ditching Google simply because of targeted ads tho, Bing does exactly the same customer tracking for ad delivery. Of course you may not see as many in the sidebar since MS doesn't have the volume of advertisers for now.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/adcenter-overview.aspx

    I know. That's probably the reason for the vast amount of blockers, net sniffers and add-ons.

    New to me is that Google was eating MS alive in search. Learn something every day.
  • Reply 16 of 56
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member
    philboogie wrote: »
    I know. That's probably the reason for the vast amount of blockers, net sniffers and add-ons.

    New to me is that Google was eating MS alive in search. Learn something every day.

    If you're curious at all about stats.
    http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2244472/Google-Once-Again-Claims-67-Search-Market-Share
  • Reply 17 of 56
    red oakred oak Posts: 629member
    This is a huge announcement. There is no reason in the next Apple TV rev (with higher graphics and memory bumps) you would not be able to play games like Call of Duty

    And, imagine the 2nd screen enhancements to the game play.

    This could torpedo new game consoles from Microsoft and Sony
  • Reply 18 of 56
    vorsosvorsos Posts: 302member


    Dunks View Post

    My preferred solution for big screen gaming would be an official Apple controller and a dedicated App Store for the Apple TV to avoid Airplay latency entirely.



    We are more likely to see improvements to the AirPlay protocol that reduce latency.


     



    konqerror View Post


    Yeah, forget that, but somebody already announced a product: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/06/11/ifrogz-advantage-mobile-gaming-controller-compatib/



    OpenFeint predated Game Center, but where are those two now?


    The keyword is 'dedicated,' as in first party support. Developers generally prefer a standardized target, as evidenced by the countless announcements akin to "Android port delayed due to holy balls fragmentation."


     



    PhilBoogie View Post



    Gatorguy View Post

    For those that are ditching Google simply because of targeted ads tho, Bing does exactly the same customer tracking for ad delivery. Of course you may not see as many in the sidebar since MS doesn't have the volume of advertisers for now.


    I know. That's probably the reason for the vast amount of blockers, net sniffers and add-ons.


    True that. I run GlimmerBlocker (system-level) and several Safari extensions that block tracking from Facebook, Google, etc. There's even one that fixes the Google search tracking URLs, so when I copy a link from Google search results, it's the actual link and not a thousand-character string.

  • Reply 19 of 56
    andysolandysol Posts: 2,506member
    red oak wrote: »
    This is a huge announcement. There is no reason in the next Apple TV rev (with higher graphics and memory bumps) you would not be able to play games like Call of Duty

    Absolutely- at the very least a slightly scaled down one.
    I don't have a game console, but I'd buy these controllers

    Curious to those in the know- I assume this is one of the advantages of lightning vs 30-pin?
  • Reply 20 of 56
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,073member


    I hope that the controller does not actually look like that, they should copy the xbox360 controller so that it feels good in your hands.

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