Question of the week: Should Apple develop a dedicated gaming controller?

By , Aug 4, 2012

As we all know, Apple has found itself in the desirable position as one of the leaders in gaming industry. This wasn’t something Apple planned to do; as iOS popularity increased, it just sort of fell into its lap.

With that in mind, do you think that it’s time for Apple to take gaming more seriously? Further, should Apple develop a dedicated gaming controller and increase its presence in the industry?

The evidence already suggests that Apple is looking into such a thing, as recent patent filings prove. Of course patents don’t necessarily mean we’ll see a new product of any sort, but at least we know it’s something that’s on Apple’s mind.

I think a controller would legitimize iOS gaming to a further degree, and that it could be a killer product when combined with an Apple TV.

What do you think Apple should do: develop its own controller, or let things continue to play out as is? Sound off with your opinion below in the comments. The most well thought out comments will be featured at the beginning of next week’s Question of the Week.

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  • san andreas

    I’m agree they should release or develop the gaming control :)

    Guatemala

  • codedit

    Making a gaming controller will make the developers lazy, allot of them will no longer think of smart on screen/gesture/gyroscopic control. Also you’d get the impression that the touchscreen isn’t good enough as a game controller while it is. They should just keep the touchscreen as the one and only way to control a game.

    • SimonReidy

      It’s not a bad point, but the the thing is developers will still have to cater for touchscreen only users, as only a certain percentage of people would buy a controller. A developer would be crazy to take away solid touch support as it would still be required for those users.

      A game controller is a great idea, and it being made by Apple would mean it would be taken 100x more seriously by developers than any 3rd party bluetooth controller ever will.

      As long as a happy balance can be struck between touch and tactile controls I think it has a lot of potential, particularly when you consider the possibilities this could open up with AppleTV and AirPlay (it could also obviously be a great accessory for gaming on the Mac too).

      • codedit

        I agree that it would be a great option for like games on the apple tv, mac and as an adition to games on iOS. Though options of using your iOS device as a game controller for the apple tv or even for another iOS device also are interesting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mr.whosam Husam Hamed

      I think the touch screen is the worst kind of controllers ever made… I mean it’s great for small puzzle games and stuff but a lot of awesome games on the app store are not being played and a lot of games and game types are not being made just because of the limitations of the touch screen.
      I’ve been waiting for a long time for a controller. Think of all of the new features and FPS games that you can’t play on a touch screen!
      That’s why I hate my new playstation Vita.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sydney.liu.161 Sydney Liu

    I’d prefer iMakeup, iCookware, and iPad .. oops ..there’s already an iPad.

  • http://twitter.com/aineelGD Ronald Aineel Nocum

    no they should not. IT would make the other features of iOS gaming dull if they were to create a controller. Plus it’s a portable gaming device so why make one for it? if people playing in iOS are really that into gaming, it’s expected they own a console at their house and/or a portable gaming device. So in summary no, it’s not ideal.

    • smtp25

      I play games on the iPad at home mainly, and on the iphone when waiting in line or something. So Controller ipad would be sweet and make comes like Modern Warefare playable

  • Gerard Hampton

    Leaders in the gaming industry? LOL thats like saying microsoft is a leader because they make windows and all pc games run on windows. You can already use PC controllers with android just FYI

    They should be using iphones/ipods as game controllers for apple TV and ipads ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1396779846 George Lafflin

      you already can use an iphone as a controller on an apple tv in some games like real racing 2. yes android allows controllers but android apps suck on tablets. not to mention the ios games are much better and a better selection.

  • SimonReidy

    There’s another reason why Apple should be consideng this, and that is Windows 8 tablets. While they are nothing but a blip on the radar at the moment, you can bet that Windows 8 tablets will be compatible with the Microsoft X-Box controller (given it already has such strong developer support for Windows 7 games at the moment).

    While we’re yet to see how Windows RT or Windows Pro tablets do on the market, there’s no doubting they will be more than capable gaming machines. Tie this together with Microsoft’s huge X-Box fanbase with cross-platform integration and you suddenly have a very appealing Windows tablet for games, which would be a strong competitor to the iPad.

  • presidentwalter

    Perhaps they already have? I think Apple TV has a lot of potential and I would certainly like to see what apple decides to do with it. I think opening up Apple TV for apps and games out be the next best step for apple due to the pressure and competition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CMak70 Chris McOmber

    No, gamers are tools.

  • Dan

    I would like to see a gaming controller, as long as all games on IOS have the option of using touch control. That way you can play with touch on the go or with a controller at home.

  • christodouluke

    It’s likely they have the same attitude towards gaming controllers that they do towards styluses. Physical buttons certainly have their advantages just like styluses do and you shouldn’t expect them to change their stance on that because their users think its a good idea. they’ll probably want to develop touch controls or other new methods of input.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=728548305 Miras Safadi

    I think apple should make the apple tv a regular apple tv AND a gaming console (ships with controllers designed by apple)

  • BumpyFlatline

    There’s a KickStarter project called BladePad that to me, is absolutely the perfect solution for a controller for the iPhone. The problem with a secondary controller is that I can’t play games lying in bed. But the KickStarter project solves that problem because the phone is attached to the controller. It’s sick! I can’t wait to get my BladePad! I really hope they reach their goal to put the product into production!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000945354629 Avery Massenburg

      I also like that it’s compatable with the New iPad also.. And using that controller plus the jailbreak tweak blutrol, It makes for a much better gaming experiance

      • BumpyFlatline

        Yea absolutely! BladePad is only compatible with iOS devices that have Bluetooth 4.0 but maybe a cydia tweak can make it work with older devices. Either way, out of all the solutions I’ve seen, BladePad makes the most sense. I’m really looking forward to this project. Hopefully all goes well.

  • http://twitter.com/Khamz1989 Khamz

    Hell yes..nuff said!

  • http://twitter.com/steelahlive Steelahlive

    Personally, I want a controller for the iPad. There are a few good games I enjoy, and the touchscreen controls on the bottom left and right of the screen when holding the tablet in landscape mode is horrendous. Imagine trying to play a game like geometry wars evolved or whatever and not being able to see enemies spawning underneath you. NOW, if they would isolate that portion of the screen and make it not part of game play it wouldn’t be bad, other than they’re losing real estate so they don’t. I would welcome a controller or 3rd party support for BT controllers. I will have to now google and see if any are available.

  • http://twitter.com/GuyBey0ndC00L eDDie

    simply answer YES!!!

  • ap3604

    Apple definitely should develop a dedicated controller for the iPhone for the following reasons: Market Potential, Customer Attraction, and Accessory Profits.

    Quality gaming is a huge market that could be tapped by having this option if they just had a simple Bluetooth controller for developers to be united by in iOS’s SDK. Right now the App Store game market is dominated kiddie type touchscreen games for $0.99. There are countless examples of this like Angry Birds, Wheres my water, Cut the rope, etc. Imagine though for a moment a $30 dollar game on the App Store, would you buy it? Hell no! That is of course… not if it wasn’t as good as a 3Ds or PS Vita game (where people pay $30-40 for games all the time). If there was a dedicated controller you could open up the market for higher quality games since developers could charge more and people would pay for that quality gaming experience. Without a dedicated controller though developers are handicapped on how good a gaming experience they can give customers so in turn the developers are handicapped in how much they can charge, which has the consequence of making the developers less interested in developing quality games.

    Think of the customers they would attract to iOS devices with not just the iPhone, but also the iPad and iPod touch. I am sure there would be quite a few kids come christmas time that would ask for a iPod Touch + Apple Controller instead of a 3Ds if only Apple took this seriously (which they can). Or think of the people who were leaning towards an Android Tablet because of this Bluetooth controller capability already.

    And if nothing else, simply think of the profit they could make off of each controller.
    1. Make some controller that costs $10 to manufacture
    2. Charge $50 – 60 per controller
    3. ???
    4. PROFIT!

    I am not sure why Apple wouldn’t do this, but I can only think of a couple reasons:
    1. They are making a huge profit already and don’t care about the user experience when it comes to games.
    2. Because they don’t want to take away from the iPhone’s “professional” status by opening it up more to gamers? But I would think that having true gaming titles on iOS would be less of a professional eyesore than having kiddie games like Angry Birds as your flagship game.
    3. They are going to eventually come out with their own game console and they want to keep this market untapped for now.

    • Impeach Obama

      whoa that was long. not sure if i should go and read it. mmm, nah

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000078529249 Donovan Davis

    I’m with bumpy flats the blade pad got me super excited especially because of the dual analog sticks. I actually donated. Maybe apple could just buy out their company make them rich and take over an existing product. They are good at that (Siri for instance) then its just some good ol apple spit polishing and BAM! Another billion!

  • Gucciipad

    Yes! I used to have a I touch n it was horrible as a controller.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1595420643 Simche Apple Konstantinovic

    This Controller would actually work :) For example, if
    You have an iPad case where it lets it stand on the landspace mode, And play Mass effect 3 with the Controller connected through Bluetooth :) or anytime, just mirror-playing it
    On your TV via ATV :) My only requirement, is that it actually does what it’s advertised for, or as Apple would say, ‘it just works’ :) So yeah, I can easily see myself purchasing one
    Of those and play a great game on my MacBook pro/ipad/ATV
    Etc :)

  • http://twitter.com/KaLaSniK0F Dominik K.

    It is a great chance for apple to increace its presence in the gaming industry. There are mane games in the appstore which could be a lot better with a controller especialy on the ipad ( an iphone with a controller would not be the best idea :P ) . I’m sure apple could create a very cool designed controller with aluminium and maybe glass like the iphone 4 or the material used on the ipad would also be great. A silver controller.

  • Kevin Clear

    The iPad Mini should connect with Apple TV and compete with the Wii U.

    • alexanderlyd

      what do you mean ‘compete’ ;), the wii is already dead- the wii u is just like wii sports resort- it just never took off, anyway the graphics on the wii are SHIT. lol ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mattthegoodwin Matt Goodwin

    yes. make a controller. then, bundle it with the next gen apple tv. airplay mirroring of ios games to apple tv. control it with bundled controller. apple tv + iphone = fully featured console-type gaming experience.

  • Irfan Tarique

    No.

  • LAGISSUEZ

    Yes they should. They are already putting a dent in nintendos profits. If they made a controller it would further that progress and like others have said it would allow the development of higher end games which would attract even more customers once the word got around.

    I can see of course apple on their high horse about this issue and that’s fine, whatever. I can always count on MS for my fps (cod) fix.

  • Alec Vanek

    It really irritates me when everyone thinks apple is gonna make an iEverything! What’s next? An iDog?

  • http://twitter.com/Balli67 miguel Balli

    Now can really enjoy playing modern combat and N.O.V.A series

  • http://twitter.com/niikhb Niiiiik

    i think they should have a masturbation app for all the wankers out there :)

  • alexanderlyd

    I think that apple will not have a good chance at doing this because i mean there are many third party ipad and iphone controllers and no one uses them because there are only one or two games using it and anyway they are way too expensive, what im saying is, is that apple have already perfected mobile gaming control, the acceloromiter and gyroscope, and the flexiblity of touch controls are just amazing. i think if they release one, it wont take off, game developers are probably not willing to intergrate and develop with and for the controller.

  • http://twitter.com/tomdotcom_uk Tom

    Does any one know whether it would be possible for a developer to create a jailbreak tweak that would let you use an Xbox controller with an iPad? It should be possible, no?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    yes an apple controller is long over due… touch screen controles are not suited to complicated fast pace games

  • http://twitter.com/HiTekkSteff Stephaughn Alston

    I can’t wait too see what Samsungs controller will look like if Apple does release one. Controller wars!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    apple is great but they always leave out a few obvious great steps in their plan.. i dont know why its like the real simple obvious things are not important to them so we have to suffer.. just make an apple controller case so that folks who want that precision game control can have it is they so choose.. or open the API so other companies can do it.. The crappy PS vita has touch and analog control why can the iphone??

  • http://www.facebook.com/miguelfidalgodias Miguel Dias

    Imagine this… U buy a big screen Tv (Apple one) which has a high screen resolution like iPad3 and would have a hard disk inside. So it will come with wirelless so u can connect to your home/work/enywhere that has internet. This mean you could connect to App Store and download games like we do with iPhone or iPad at a lower price and the games could be controlled by an iphone or ipad. Apple would gain alot of market. If you look at the game Air Supremecy for the new iPad u see that has great graphics. So the point is u would only had to by the TV for u to have the console for games. Apple would gain alot of market from sony playstation nitendo and xbox360 because the user has to buy a TV then the console and then the games at a very high price. This could defenitly be a big revolution in the game/console industry. What do you think???