File this one under the ‘unlikely’ category. Apple has done a pretty darned good job in transforming gaming from the traditional action and d-pad controllers, but, according to rumors, could be working on a physical controller to supplement the ever-increasing library of App Store games.
In theory, it would be great to have a separate, physical unit – particularly for the growing library of first person shooters which seem to get closer and closer to the experience with each new release. That said, the idea of a standalone controller seems to go against everything Apple has striven to achieved since dropping the iPhone back in 2007.
Let’s not forget, smartphones had buttons – many buttons – before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone to the world, and ever since that point, Apple has been systematically removing needless hardware. The optical drives are dropping from MacBooks like flies at present, and it looks as though Mountain Lion will be another download-only following last year’s Mac App Store exclusive of OS X Lion.
Still, peripherals are a slightly different story, and there is a chance – albeit slim – that Apple could release controller to make a little extra cash on the side. If anything, it could be used as a marketing ploy to show consumers just how much of an impact iOS gaming is having on the entire gaming industry in general.
Android supports controllers, although much like the rumors of the fruit company toying with the phablet model, Tim Cook’s company would not be too keen to take an overt leaf out of a rival’s book – particularly when that book belongs to Google.
Also, there will be portability implications. Apple’s iOS devices have gotten progressively slimmer and lighter (with the exception, of course, of the new iPad), so would Apple really give iDevice users another reason to clutter up their pockets?
We’re a little skeptical of these rumors, however they still make us wonder what it will look like and, equally importantly, how much it will cost. Knowing Apple, it will likely price many consumers out of the market. But, there’s no doubt some would welcome such a product – especially those stuck in a console state of mind.