Game Controller for Apple Devices, in the Works

Image via Apple Insider

It was reported that Apple is working on a physical game controller for its mobile devices to compete against Google. The search engine giant’s Android operating system is already banking for gaming device support. Other than competing against Android, the Cupertino-based company would also like to enhance the gameplay on their iPad and other mobile devices.

Delivering to Hardcore Mobile Gamers

AnandTech’s Anand Lal Shimpi revealed in his review of Apple’s new iPad and its gaming prowess that there will be “an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market.” However, it can’t be determined whether the manufacturer decided to push through on its efforts.

It’s a no-brainer that smartphones and tablets are becoming equal with game consoles in terms of performance. That’s why Lal Shimpi believes that a game controller may soon become a necessary feature for hardcore mobile gamers. In relation to this, Apple is said to be quietly building its army of gaming executives.

In order to leverage their momentum in the mobile gaming arena and combat Google and other competitors, the company was able to lure Robin Burrowes away from heading Microsoft’s international Xbox Live team to their turf. It was followed by hiring Nintendo’s Head of Public Relations Robert Saunders and Nick Grange who used to work at Xbox, Activision and Electronics Arts.

Joining the Mobile Gaming Arena

Other than delivering to mobile gamers, Apple might feel some pressure because of Android. The mobile OS from Google was able to acquire wired and wireless controller support since Honeycomb 3.0’s release almost a year ago.

Regardless, iOs devices are becoming a new frontier for game developers. In fact, mobile analytics firm Flurry reported in November 2011 that both mobile OS increased their market share on US-based game software from 19% in 2009 to 58% by the end of last year. On the other hand, Nintendo and Sony saw a drop on their sales from 70% to 36% and 11% to 6% respectively.

Mobile Devices: The Future of Gaming Platforms

Lal Shimpi pointed out that the existence of gaming controls could quickly lose against mobile devices. The keyboard and mouse combination is an accurate setup for first-person shooter games, but the development on this type of games is making a shift to gamepads nowadays. However, it’s too early to tell whether the future of gaming platforms is actually leading to mobile devices.

But as long as there’s a continuous controller support for Android devices, this could possibly add pressure on Apple to do the same. And in case the latter pushed through with its plan to join the mobile gaming industry, game developers should put these platforms into consideration.

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