Apple Working On Physical Game Controller For iOS Devices [Updated]

Apple could makes this look not so archaic.

Apple could make this look not so archaic.

iOS is the most popular gaming platform in existence, and Apple has managed to create an incredible ecosystem of titles with only iOS devices. The company sells no actual controllers or joypads; everything is touch-based.

So does it make sense for Apple to make a physical game controller that somehow connects to your iPhone and iPad? According to a new report, the answer is yes.

PocketGamer has learned that Apple allegedly met with developers at the annual Game Developers Conference this past week to give a heads up about some kind of joypad. Apple reportedly booked a room at the trade show under a fake name to avoid the press.

Of course, there’s no official word yet, but Apple has been active during the conference talking to developers about its plans and ensuring plenty of games will support the joypad at launch.

Apple has consulted high-profile game makers like EA and Gameloft before the release of upcoming products before. Several new games are usually shown from the stage at a given event to demonstrate the power of new Apple hardware. According to the report, Apple hasn’t shown any developers what its joypad actually looks like.

PocketGamer doesn’t have much of a track record to speak of when it comes to Apple stuff, but the site obviously has connections with the gaming industry. The site says it expects Apple to announce the controller around April. PocketGamer¬†previously reported that Apple was working on a special section of the App Store that would sell premium games for $20.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of an Apple joypad, however. Anandtech said that there’s “an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market” last year. Apple has probably prototyped such a device, but that doesn’t mean it will be sold in the Apple Store one day.

Releasing something like this alongside an updated Apple TV makes sense. Who wouldn’t want to play their favorite iOS games on the big screen with a real controller?

Update: Jim Dalrymple of The Loop has given one of his legendary “nopes” on this rumor. Dalrymple has a pretty¬†infallible track record when it comes to predicting Apple’s plans, so it looks as though a game controller is sadly not happening.

  • bdkennedy

    “Apple could makes this look not so archaic.” Best sentence I’ve read today.

  • extra_medium

    Obviously would never happen. “Why use a game controller? We were born with 10 of the best game controllers” (holds up fingers to sycophantic applause)

  • technochick

    Apple doesn’t feel the need to do everything and there are already an easy dozen controllers out there. Not to mention its not Apple’s style to not give details to folks they are courting. They get them to Cupe, NDA them to the eyeballs and tell them the deets. Then those games are how they demo at WWDC etc

    That said, I could see Apple there talking to folks about what they would want in support for those 3rd party controllers with the intent of creating an official API. I could see this Premimum Games thing being real as a way to court companies like Nintendo to release at least back library to iOS. I know a lot of folks that would pay $20 each for the old Mario Games.

  • Steven Quan

    I wish Apple would come out with a controller. It’s the last step hardware wise in making a full gaming console. Last step is the online gaming community which is weak at best (Game Center). Apple needs to put more effort into making the Game Center a central platform for gamers and really put it on the map.

    As far as premium games go, I don’t see how they could get any more premium than Infinity Blade or Need for Speed Racing, or Real Racing 3 which already go for around $5ish or $6ish (that’s how much I paid for mine). These premium games had better be something out of this world for that much.

    As far as technochick’s comment goes, I think Sega (not Nintendo) is more likely to port over their older titles to iOS. Nintendo has got a real ego and they are totally dedicated to their own gaming platform.

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a staff writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , |