Apple’s iPad and iPhone have really taken the gaming world by storm since their inception. Bringing touch based gaming to the masses, and opening up new avenues of innovation for independent developers and established gaming companies alike, Apple’s iOS-based devices have changed the gaming landscape forever.
Just ask Nintendo. The Japanese company’s latest handheld gaming device, the Nintendo 3DS, has suffered a like-warm reception since its release earlier this year. Flagging sales and industry backlash has seen Nintendo slash the 3DS’ price considerably already, and many feel the iPad and iPod touch have taken a massive slice out of Nintendo’s cake, and run off to eat it behind its pile of money.
Now Apple might find itself building on the strong mobile foundations it’s built, with a third-party developer releasing an API which allows developers to use an iPhone as a controller for an iPad game. Using the magic of AirPlay, that game can then be streamed wirelessly to an Apple TV, and thus, a big screen monitor.
Called simply ‘Joypad’ and available for free, the API and accompanying App Store app can be used by any developer and tied into any game. The free iOS app then turns an iPhone or iPod touch into an NES-like controller, perfect for top-down shooters and the like. Perhaps the best part of the controller though, is that it’s customizable. If a developer wants two thumb sticks, they can have them. More buttons? No problem. It’s completely customizable to suit the game it will be used with.
Now admittedly, there is a downside in the fact that for this all to work, the end user has to shell out for an iPhone, an iPad, and an Apple TV, but many people will have those by chance. If you do already possess the required equipment, you’re all set and ready to rock.
Has Apple just waged war on the home console market, without actually doing anything? It’s debatable whether the likes of Microsoft and Sony need to worry about competition in the form of an iPad/iPhone/Apple TV trifecta, but competition is always a good thing, and we can’t wait to see what developers start doing with Joypad.