Apple working on a gaming controller?

Until a couple of years ago, the words Apple and gaming would never appear in the same sentence together. For years the Mac has been shunned as a poor gaming device, despite its technological capabilites. Many believed that Apple and the gaming market would never cross paths.

Jump to 2012, and the reality is very different. Gaming on the go is a worldwide sensation, and leading from the front, the iPhone and the iPad offer some of the best experiences in gaming around. The App Store offers fantastic titles like Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy, Real Racing 2 HD, Mass Effect Infiltrator and Infinity Blade II. With the Retina display of the new iPad and the iPhone, these games offer some of the best portable graphics on the market, even rivalling many titles available for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. And for those in search of less intensive gaming experience there are hit arcade titles like Temple Run, Modern War, and everyone’s favourite; Angry Birds.

Over at Anandtech, the rumor of a physical controller surfacing at Apple has appeared in a recent review of the new iPad. With the release of Honeycomb for Android, Google started adding wired and wireless support for the OS. NVIDIA has ensured that support for the hardware is embedded within many games, and you can now purchase a lot of games through Tegra Zone that offer support for a controller, this innovation is starting to put pressure on iOS.

“While controller support in Android in its infancy at best, it’s more than iOS currently offers. I know of an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market, but whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen. As smartphones and tablets come close to equalling the performance of current game consoles, I feel like the controller problem must be addressed.”

An interesting prospect. Whilst it’s very clear that Apple’s gaming endeavours aren’t on the same level as Microsoft or Sony, it’s also very clear that the landscape is changing. Purchasing physical games from a store is being pushed out in favor of downloads, and people are beginning to find it hard to justify paying $60 for a new release. Moving to a system where you’re average title costs around $3-5 doesn’t seem like a such a bad idea any more.

When it comes to gaming, the App Store offers some incredible titles

It’s clear that there are many game on the App Store that could benefit from a controller, however I also think there are just as many titles that are served better by touch-screen controls. It’s also a possibility that if this controller really is being developed, there’s a chance that a console might follow. Unlikely, but not completely absurd. As a company known for revolutionising markets, it would come as no surprise to me if Apple did eventually release a console in a bid to shake up the gaming world.

Do you think a controller would be a positive addition to your iOS gaming experience? Or if you’re not currently and iOS gamer, would a controller make iOS gaming more attractive than Android? Leave a comment below, and be sure to follow me on Twitter for all the latest Apple news, reviews and rumors.



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