Gamevice iOS gaming controllers gain prime real estate at Apple retail stores

in General Discussion edited June 2016
Apple has once again chosen to spotlight a third-party product with prime shelf space at its retail stores, partnering with Gamevice to push sales of its lineup of iOS-compatible gaming controllers.

Starting Wednesday, Gamevice's attachable gaming pads for iPhone and iPad are now available in all Apple retail stores worldwide. In addition, the Gamevice product lineup will be given its own "feature bay" in certain stores, despite the fact that the company is a relatively small, independent hardware maker.

Offering feature bays to quality third-party products is a relatively new strategy for Apple, as the company also gave prime placement to the DJI Phantom 4 when it launched exclusively in Apple Stores back in March.

The above photo, taken in Apple's Shanghai store, shows that the Gamevice controller lineup will be given its own all-mounted graphic, showing its products will connect to larger iPhones, plus recent 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini models. Displayed are a few other potential gaming-related products: the SteelSeries Nimbus wireless controller, and Bluetooth Beats Solo2 wireless headphones in different colors.

Unlike other wireless controllers, Gamevice's unique design connects physically to Apple hardware through the Lightning port, allowing for a convenient handheld gameplay experience.

As full-fledged modern gaming controllers, Gamevice products offer all most all of the input options experienced gamers expect, including dual analog sticks, four face buttons, two triggers, and two shoulder buttons. The controllers weigh less than a pound, and the "Flexbridge" that connects the two hard plastic halves is collapsable for storage and transit.

Prior to providing DJI with a significant amount of shelf space for the Phantom 4, Apple historically reserved feature bays at its own stores for its own products. But the new displays for DJI and Gamevice signal a shift in how Apple conducts its retail operations.

AppleInsider reviewed the Gamevice Lightning-connected controller for iPhone 6, 6s and Plus models last year and found that it's a well-designed and well-built gaming accessory. However, with a $100 price tag and a risk of not fitting future iPhone models, it's likely to appeal to niche audiences.

GameVice also sells separate controller hardware for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad Air, as well as the iPad mini. All three models retail for $99.95 and are now available at Apple Stores worldwide. A fourth model for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is advertised as coming soon.


  • Reply 1 of 4
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    Must be the rain ... 3rd rant of the day  ;0

    iOS gaming?  Nice toys for kids.  Really?  Oh just give me real gaming on OS X please Apple.  Just check out Steam PC vs Mac!  It's a joke.  I only run Windows on my Mac for Steam, I'd rather not even have to.  How can a company the size of Apple not persuade the big game companies to have Mac versions?
  • Reply 2 of 4
    Well, you have Blizzard subtly moaning that Apple don't support game companies for their latest release...

    Open Gl after some boosts is now languishing after Metal is unveiled...

    Metal can be a game changer though.

    Marv' had an interesting post re: Apple spending a few hundred million to entice game developers for Mac to have a grade A port.

    Hardware.  Do people think 'gaming' when they look at a Mac Mini?  iMac?

    Though, that said, I'm playing WoW on my iMac and it seems fine to me.

    But the PC builders that go for 1080 Nvidia card (which Apple doesn't offer and probably won't...with their new 'one gpu' and no choice supplier route...)  And Apple don't have a 'tower' in the sane price range for those buyers even IF Apple did offer the 1080.

    We'll get the power efficient Polaris cards in the iMac.

    How hard would it be for Apple to offer the 'gamers' Mac tower.  £1500.  i7.  1080 card.  SSD.  16 gigs of Ram.  Priced to go.

    They're sometimes a little too rigid.  I love the iMac.  It is powerful.  

    But I can understand the want for a headless Mac 'in the middle.'  My first 'tower' was a Mac clone.  £2000 for the base model before I started pimping it out.  I remember it fondly with a 21 inch D2 monitor.  1997.  What  a year.

    Anybody remember when we had Blue and White G3 towers with Voodoo cards?  And prices between £1000-2000 ish?  Seems like a dream from another universe now.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 3 of 4
    I love gaming on the Mac by the way.

    Marathon.  Really liked that.  Did that on PPC. :smile: 

    CoH.  When the Mac version came, I dumped the PC version. :smile: 

    WoW.  Currently playing that.  On Mac.  ;)

    Apple just went the mainstream 'casual gamer' route with iOS gaming which kind of fell into their lap with the force multiplier of overwhelming iPhone/iPad unit sales.  Who wouldn't support that?  And now Apple TV has an A8 in a little puck...and selling millions too.

    Still, 5 million Macs per quarter for the last few years.  That's more than consoles.  So there is a large market for Mac games.  Historically huge compared to what it was when Apple were selling less than 1 million Macs per quarter (I remember that quarter!)  The installed Mac base must be around 100 million Macs now.  Surely?  That isn't small potatoes.

    And lots of those will be laptops.  So maybe gamers use those?

    The A9 and A10 with the A11 are boosting GPU capability into star trek devices.  It's insane.

    'Good enough' and amazing considering the form factors.  And we do have Metal on both mac and ios.  With the A series chasing down the power of a PS4 unit.

    Do you need graphics any better than that for a device that is as thin as a pencil?

    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 4 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    5 million Macs per quarter for the last few years.  That's more than consoles.  So there is a large market for Mac games.  Historically huge compared to what it was when Apple were selling less than 1 million Macs per quarter (I remember that quarter!)  The installed Mac base must be around 100 million Macs now.  Surely?  That isn't small potatoes.
    Steam had a survey suggesting there were around 4 million active Mac gamers using it:

    This is short of the console audience, which is about 150-200 million when you weigh in the last-gen. PC is around 120 million. It's understandable why the Mac is passed over but Apple also has iOS, which is a huge install base. Apple could commission ports of games to both iOS and Mac.

    The cost would be next to nothing to them. Developer costs to make a game are in the tens of millions. ~$5 million to port each one (which would be excessive) of 100 of the top games would be about $500m. They'd sell for an average of $30 and Apple takes 30%. They could sell 500,000 copies each x 100 games x $30 = $1.5b revenue x 30% = $450m. It's not necessarily going to make Apple money directly but it builds relationships with developers and adds value to the platform, especially iOS as games can be restricted to newer hardware and this would boost iPad sales.

    Making their own controller would help too. They could even use the TV controller as an addon so have a full touch remote clipped into a plastic base with shoulder buttons and just slide thumbs over the remote's touch surface. That saves having to make a single purpose controller.

    The gaming peripheral manufacturers for mobile aren't selling many units. Their revenues are $30-50m. With controllers costing ~$100, that's 300-500k units of these GameVice/SteelSeries/Mad-Catz mobile controllers being sold on multiple platforms. There aren't many mobile games that need them because they have to be designed for touch first.

    Apple's GPUs are in need of an upgrade across the whole Mac lineup just now but I think the GPUs made in the last 2-3 years are still pretty fast and the visual quality possible on them is amazing with the newer game engines. They are using physically based shading now so everything behaves like the real world. There's a game that is on the Mac that came out recently and the graphics quality in it is really nice:

    It even runs ok on laptop hardware. That one was made in Unity and having the cross-platform engines is a big help because it's mostly just a click and recompile for the platform. FireWatch is another made with Unity:

    It's a pretty low investment requirement for Apple to get more involved with games and it's strange how they seem to distance themselves from games. The two Steves worked for Atari:

    Steve Jobs seemed pretty happy to have Halo on the Mac:

    It's not just about playing games either, there's a profitable industry for people to be able to make games and the Mac is the ideal platform for creatives. The following company used Unity too and develops on Macs:

    Maybe Apple doesn't like being pressured into modifying their GPU drivers or something like that. I don't think it would be good to compromise the system stability to get cutting edge driver features. Windows gets driver releases just for specific games. If that's the issue, maybe there's a way to let the software use a custom GPU driver on-the-fly (where it's needed) and just drop out to the default driver when the game is done.

    The games industry could really use companies like Apple as a lifeline and it benefits them both. Yet another games company Lionhead Studios shut down recently so another ~100 people out of work:

    Those kind of teams could easily port games and develop exclusives and a few million dollars for one game can run the whole company for a year.

    Sony and Microsoft do this to boost their console hardware sales. iPads, iPods and iPhones are the new GameBoys/PSPs but those platforms had companies making sure there was a decent set of quality games for the platform. It would be nice to see more full console games making their way to the Mac and iOS platforms.

    Witcher 3, Fallout 4, MGS V, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Star Wars Battlefront, Arkham Knight, GTA V, Assassin's Creed, Mirror's Edge, The Division, Watch Dogs, Resident Evil, Call of Duty, Deus Ex, Hitman, Battlefield, Far Cry, Unravel, Doom, Dishonored, Need for Speed...

    There's easily over 40 big titles in the last 3 years or so. Maybe it will work itself out given enough time as the games industry puts more weight behind cross-platform engines and Apple's userbase continues to grow in size but I don't see a downside to Apple injecting some capital to help move things along.
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