I’m all for game controllers for iOS devices, for what it’s worth. I’ve got a few of them, and they are all gathering dust. The issue with controllers for mobile devices is that they never get used. Not even for the games that are better when played with them. The controller is another device to carry, have batteries for, and connect. Mobile games are about immediacy, something to play when there’s two minutes of downtime. A controller in that situation is just never really worth it.

But, controllers do make sense when playing games on a TV where the user is looking at the TV instead of their device to make sure virtual buttons are being hit.

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Apple knows this, that’s why their support for Made for iOS game controllers is an obvious step in their overall TV play. Apple wants to get controllers out there, and more importantly games that support game controllers out there. Then late this year, or early next year Apple will announce the next Apple TV model that supports third party apps and games and likely will come with a Apple designed game controller. It will fit nicely into the iOS portfolio and allow all of your previous purchases to carry over, hopefully with iCloud saves for your game progress too.

The importance of this for the gaming industry can not be overstated. This will be especially impactful if Apple can get this out before the XBox One and PS4 launch later this year. This will turn the Apple TV box into a $99 game console with what will likely be thousands of low cost and free to play games by then. To me this leaves micro consoles like the Ouya and the Gamestick dead in the water, if it weren’t for their $80-$100 price point. But really, who would want crappy Android free to play games when you can have all of the games your iPad plays, on your TV, without paying for each game again?

Image credit: Neogaf user humble.

Posted in: Blog, Opinion