Apple Making Physical Game Controller for iDevices?
Apple is reportedly working on a physical controller that will enhance the gameplay experience for iDevice owners. Anand Shimpi (from Anandtech
) claims to be made aware of “an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to [the] market.” His sources were unfortunately unable to determine whether Apple as able to follow through on its effort though.
Either way, Shimpi believes that devices such as the iPad and iPhone will soon create the need for polished external gaming devices to serve the hardcore mobile gamers (which seem to be growing at a fast rate). The issue is becoming more and more apparent as smartphones and tablets come close to equaling the performance of existing game consoles in the market. Furthermore, organizations such as the World Cyber Games, which recently announced their shift towards becoming a Mobile Game-Based Festival help further push the need for such products.
Shimpi added that Apple may also be feeling some pressure in this area due to their main rival – Google, which has included basic wired and wireless controller support into the Android operating system starting as early as last year with Honeycomb 3.0. Along with their Android counterparts, iDevices have seemed to emerge as a new frontier for game developers as more and more companies also shift towards the mobile gaming market. One of the research firms indicated
that the two platforms saw their combined share of U.S.-based game software revenue rising more than threefold (from 19% in 2009 to an estimated 58% by the end of last year).
The success of the mobile-gaming market comes as an expense of the popular gaming companies such as Nintendo and Sony, who both saw their share of software sales slip. Nintendo slipped from 70% to 36% and Sony slipped from 11% to 6% over the same period of time. The situation continues to worsen as Sony recently reported a loss of $1.2 billion for the December quarter just shortly after Nintendo also reported their first ever operating loss (in its corporate history) of $575 million.
Apple seems to be taking further advantage of the situation by assembling a team of seasoned gaming executives to keep its momentum in the gaming space going. The company was reported hiring Robin Burrows (preventing him from heading up Microsoft’s overseas Xbox Live Team). This was followed by Apple recruiting Nintendo’s Chief of Public Relations, Robert Saunders, as well as Nick Grange, who ran public relations for Xbox and has experience doing the same for popular gaming companies such as Activision and Electronic Arts.
With all the facts and some speculation, it isn’t hard to see that Apple seems to have a bright gaming future ahead, one which will only get better with time.
, PC Gamer