A key feature in iOS 7 dangles the prospect of console-style action in front of hard-core gamers hooked on action-platformers and first-person shooters. But while developers can now add controller support to games, hardware makers face a new challenge: getting gamers to shell out $100 to morph their iPhones or iPads into console killers.
Hardware maker Signal is unapologetic about the hefty price tag for its new RP One controller, one of several new gaming devices certified under Apple’s Made for iPhone (MFi) program.
“Quality is not free,” Signal’s director Mark Prince told Cult of Mac, “and it makes no sense to compare an MFi controller to a ‘bag and tag’ generic [Bluetooth] controller.”
Core gamers want to sit down with a precision controller when they immerse themselves in a console game. iOS developers compete with the big boys of console gaming like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, for their audience’s gaming dollars.
It’s a clear trend, and even Apple, which has long played the “we don’t care much about gaming” card with iOS, has finally introduced built-in code to support game controllers.
Peripheral makers Logitech, SteelSeries, and Moga have all put their efforts into iOS 7-compatible controllers, each a little different. They all run $100, though, leaving gamers wondering if Apple has set the pricing.
“$100 is probably the lowest viable price point for most if not all of us to cover development, material and manufacturing costs, plus packaging, distribution and retail margins,” said Prince. “We’d like to go on record as saying that Apple does not set these prices.”