Apple held a 45-minute long session at WWDC on Tuesday about integrating a dedicated third-party game controller into the iOS. The session, which was first noted by Jablickar, revolved around the possible app frameworks that could be seen as well as hardware mock-ups of how the product, called MFi controller, could look.
The company announced that Logitech and Moga were going to come together for the initial hardware development of the controller. All registered Apple developers can see the video of the session on the WWDC app.
The presentation, titled “Integrating with Game Controllers”, was a clear move by Apple to show just how serious it was about standardised game controllers for the iOS 7. The list of app frameworks and other assets seen were pretty extensive while centering on what the company plans to do for the developer who will code the games for the planned controllers.
Mock-up of the form fitting controller for iOS (image credit: appleinsider)
The company showcased two hardware mock-ups that showed both a form-fitting and stand-alone design. The first example could be connected with an iPhone or iPod touch, while the second could function as a separate controller. The two models come with a D-pad and dual analogue sticks, with four action buttons and shoulder triggers also being featured.
The first model lets users interact with the game, not only through the controller, but through the iOS device’s touch screen as well. This helps reduce the number of controls that were earlier needed on the screen itself, which in turn helps to clear up a lot of space on the 4-inch screen.
The second standalone model will come with a wireless solution like Bluetooth LE because the company was clear about not having any wires involved. Another major difference seen in the second model was the integration of player indicator LEDs. This may point in the direction of multiplayer support, much like the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.
mock-up of standalone controller for iOS (image credit: appleinsider)
A worth-while addition both controllers will see, courtesy Apple, is a dedicated pause button, which is being used in many iOS games. Pressure-sensitive buttons, non-drifting D-pads and thumbsticks without any dead zones will also be seen. The company has also assured that there will be fast report rates for all actuators.
Apple was clear about the fact that while the controllers were useful, they were not a requirement when buying an iOS device. That being said, the company is definitely going to help app developers build game controller-ready titles in its MFi initiative. The company was clear that it was looking at launching the device specifications and APIs for the iOS 7 around fall.
Apple, handheld gaming, iOS 7 integrated game-controllers, iOS dedicated third-party game controller, iOS form-fitting controller, iOS standalone controller, Logitech hardware, MFi controllers, Moga hardware, WWDC