NOW Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft should be worried about Apple; controller incoming

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2 mins read

“iPhone and iPad games suck. There’s no buttons!” This is a constant (erroneous) statement we all see people making for why the traditional console makers have nothing to fear about Apple.

Except now they do, if a recent patent filing is any indication. Apple has patented a design that looks very much like a game console controller.

So, if this eventuates, here’s my predictions – and it’s chilling news for the big three. Apple’s controller would be a device that connects into the iPhone and iPad. Through Airplay and the Apple TV, this effectively makes both devices dedicated “games consoles” for TV gameplay, while also allowing people to pick their games up and play them when out and about.

There are other game controllers out there for the iDevices, but here’s the key difference that an Apple one will bring to the table – as an officially-sanctioned product, the big iOS developers will flock to support it. Gameloft’s Modern Warfare and Firemonkey’s Real Racing, for instance, will be updated to support the controller. With that kind of support, consumers will flock to buy the device, encouraging even more support from the indie developers.

It’s also likely to be a well-made and comfortable device, as fits Apple’s design philosophy.

In other words, with a single product release, Apple will address the one and only conceivable flaw in its gaming capabilities that anyone could possibly claim. Considering Apple is already causing a massive upheaval in the games industry without even really trying, this is ominous news indeed for the other guys.

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  • Now this is exciting. I know there are lots of third party controllers but imagine how many developers would jump on the controller if it was officially released by Apple!

  • Exactly. The third party controller providers have struggled getting the big guys on board with support.

    That really won't be a problem with an "official" controller. Modern Warfare 3 on the big TV with a traditional controller? Who said iOS can't do "real" games? πŸ˜›

  • Until we get an official announcement, I'm not seeing much of anything. Companies throw out patents all of the time but (usually) never actually use them to produce anything. If I'm correct, Nintendo patented an American football peripheral and horse-riding peripheral for the Wii, both of which never got anything more than a few black-and-white sketches to their (non-existent) names. Now, I'm not saying it's a bad idea for Apple to release an official controller, but right now the idea is not much more than a patent.

  • The difference is that the competition didn't need to worry about being torn to shreds if Nintendo released an American football peripheral or horse-riding peripheral πŸ˜›

    Sometimes, the mere threat of something happening is enough to keep executives awake at night. Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and all those little guys (Ouya, Onlive) would be well aware of what this little drawing *could* mean.

    But that said, you are right, it's possible Apple's just patenting something that its R & D facility coughed up without any plans to monetise it.

  • of course apple is going to come out with items like this, I am surprised they took so long. they see the money in gaming and they will keep trying to edge there way into it anyway they can even though rite now most i games arent so great.

  • It's about flippin' time! While I enjoy iOS gaming, I tend to enjoy games built specifically towards the platform, instead of the games, like Gameloft's Modern Combat, that try to do too much without traditional controls.

    I very much enjoy iOS gaming, but I don't think it will be the end of dedicated gaming consoles, and I think this patent coming forward is a direct response from Apple towards Ouya. I really think Apple is the one shaking in their pants right now, not the big 3. Just my opinion though. πŸ™‚

  • Is it me, or is the patent awkwardly written or are you jumping to conclusions and exaggerating this…or did you read the patent? Although one of the comments to your link implies that they initially didn't provide the link to the patent :/

    I had briefly skimmed through the patent documents, and Apple had patented the method of controlling electronic devices. More specifically, the way the game controller was portrayed in the documents was meant to be a device controlled by another device, along with the Apple TV, television, iMac, and other devices. From what I've seen, it looks to be something that the iPhone should be doing because it's always the controlling device that's shown in every illustration of the document (even the game controller and the game console that looks a lot like the Xbox 360).

    To be honest, I don't think this patent should be the indication that the console makers should be worrying about. The closest thing that I see in this is that Apple is making a game console, but the paper will not convince me because it was to patent a method of controlling devices πŸ˜›

    Essentially, this patent was not to patent a device, but a method of control.

  • Yet Nintendo could develop an NFL peripheral, and get the Mariners (owned by Nintendo of America) to sponsor it…

    Personally I can't wait for Sony to sue for "copying the design of the DualShock 3 controller".

  • This was a good suggestion that you put up here…dude…..hope that it benefits all the ones who land up here.
    Electrical Wholesalers

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