It’s kind of funny when you think about it. The first iPhone didn’t support applications, because Steve Jobs didn’t want other people ruining his perfect little baby. But then the enthusiast community stirred up such a ruckus that Apple caved in and not only started supporting apps, but also built a marketplace where developers could sell their creations straight to consumers with as little friction as possible. That pivot has made today’s iPhone, and the other devices that run iOS, synonymous with gaming. But as good as it is to play games using just a finger or two, there’s something to be said about experiencing a platformer by smashing some buttons. You know what we’re talking about, controllers. Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, they’ve been evolving controller design for well over a decade. Is it Apple’s turn?
According to AnandTech, who published an epic review of the new iPad that anyone who is even remotely interested technology should read, Apple is indeed working on a controller, but they haven’t decided whether or not they’ll release it:
“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.”
Should Apple go ahead and ship this thing, then will they also make it possible for third parties to create their own controllers? And what about fragmentation, will developers make multiple versions of their games, one optimized for touch, another optimized for a lump of plastic with buttons?
Knowing how Apple works, they’ll probably figure out an ingenious answer to all these problems and then market it as the most radical idea to happen to mobile gaming since the birth of the Game Boy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as long as whatever they come out with is actually useful and not a gimmick.