Patents indicate Apple could be working on its own game controller
In context: For the most part, Apple hasn’t invested much in the gaming sector. Aside from the launch of the Apple Arcade in 2019, the tech titan has largely left gaming applications and hardware to third-party developers. As its machines become more game-capable, it may want to put in a little more effort to bring a better gaming experience to those on its platforms, including better input methods.
According to recently filed European patents, Apple has ideas for at least three new game controllers designed specifically for Apple products. The first style is similar to a standalone gamepad, as you would find for a console machine. The second could be compared to Nintendo’s JoyCons for the Switch. The third has a more foldable Game Boy Advanced design.
Style #1, as Apple calls it in the patent, is relatively unobtrusive in design. It looks like a modern Bluetooth gamepad and probably works the same way. Apple has made all of its devices compatible with PlayStation, Xbox, and third-party Bluetooth controllers in recent years. This one would just be a first-party alternative to what many people already use. It would also be compatible with less portable devices like the Apple TV and the various Macs.
Style #2 would be two detachable controllers like the one on the Nintendo Switch. The main difference is that they would be magnetically connected to the sides of an iPhone or iPad in landscape or portrait mode. The latest iPad Pros already have a magnetic connector on the right side to hold and sync the second-generation Apple Pencil. Presumably, newer devices, including iPhones, would have similar connectors, albeit with stronger magnets on all four sides to house the controllers.
Style #3 would be a case- or folio-like controller that could fold down to cover the screen when not in use, like Apple’s new Magic Keyboard. Although in this case users would have a gamepad instead of a keyboard. However, this one is specially designed for the iPhone. The concepts describe the folio as a secondary screen with software-configurable buttons or a partial screen with hardware controls. The secondary screen could serve to provide additional information or customizable button placement.
While Apple products have traditionally been non-gaming platforms, the introduction of the Intel-based Macs started to change that idea. The iPhone came along and many developers started to create simple games that could be run on the device. As the iPhone and iPad became more powerful, the titles available became more complex and demanding, creating the need for an external input mechanism for some. As Apple continues to improve its internal silicon, it may be taking its gaming potential more seriously.
From a business point of view, it makes sense. The video game industry generated $155 billion in 2020, including hardware sales, and analysts expect this to grow to $260 billion by 2025. There’s no reason Cupertino shouldn’t be investing more in this industry, and apparently it is. like this.
Image Credit: DenPhotos