Controller support for iOS 7 - What we know (and what we don't) about the upcoming iOS accessories
Here's something you might not know. With the update to iOS 7, Apple has added native controller support to all of its iOS devices. All of them that can upgrade to the latest version of the OS, anyway.
The news was announced at WWDC earlier in the year, and here at Pocket Gamer
's spacious yet strangely empty offices, we expected a raft of new bolt-on controllers to be released around the same time as iOS 7.
Well, iOS 7 came out on Wednesday, and right now none of us are playing iOS games with crappy plastic attachments officially endorsed by Apple.
So what gives?
There are a couple of controllers on the way. The Gamecase, from Clamcase, is the first to be unveiled. It's a chassis with half an Xbox 360 joypad taped on either side, and it's almost certainly not as sexy as the video below suggests it is.
Elsewhere Logitech is teasing a reveal for its own controller device with the image below. At a guess I'd say it's going to be a similar sort of thing to the Gamecase device, with a central part holding your iOS device and buttons and triggers at either side.
What sets these controllers apart from the Android devices we've seen thus far is that Apple has set standards that iOS controllers have to adhere to.
If your controller has rubbish latency or massive analogue stick dead-zones, then you're not going to be allowed to attach it to an iPhone.
It's certainly in keeping with the way Apple runs its App Store, and should hopefully mean that the controllers that do eventually come out are going to be pretty decent pieces of kit.Known unknowns
One of the big questions that remains unanswered is down to price. If there's a stringent quality that these controllers are going to have to follow, then how much are they actually going to cost?
Then there's the question of support. Right now there aren't many games that explicitly support the new controllers, although that's likely to change once you can actually buy them, but it's difficult to imagine many older games getting updated to use the new technology.
And some of the very best games on iOS don't even need extra control methods, because they've been designed from the ground up to work on touchscreen devices. Although here are 10 that we think could do with controller support.
And then there's the elephant in the room - Apple's own controller. Much mooted, never seen, and still possibly waiting somewhere in the wings to pop out and ruin the party for the other manufacturers.Out of control
Controllers have failed to change the way most people play Android games, and, colour me cynical, but I suspect the same is true for iOS gaming too.
You're not going to pull out a separate chunk of plastic to slip over your iPhone while you're trying to grab a minute or two of play on the way to work.
One of the joys of mobile gaming is in the accessibility, in being able to tap on a screen a couple of times and play a quick, instantly engaging game.
Having to slot your iPhone into an old fashioned lump of buttons and plastic kind of gets in the way of that. What do you think?