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The iPad and iPhone have changed the games industry in more than a few ways, but the ubiquitousness of touch controls is probably the iOS platform's biggest contribution to modern game hardware. And while there's plenty to love about screen-taps and accelerometer controlled tilt, some games just play better with a controller. According to one report, it sounds like Apple may have finally given in to the idea.
Speaking to PocketGamer.biz, unnamed game developers say they have spoken to representatives from Apple during this week's Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco. And rather than just reiterate relationships with mobile developers, keeping the never-ending flow of titles to the App Store, Cupertino wants feedback on the concept of a first-party gamepad.
Pictured: iCade 8-Bitty Controller
Apparently, the meetings were conducted in secret, with Apple registering a meeting room under a fake company name; how very covert. As you might have imagined, Apple wants to make sure the developers are on board with the new hardware.
Frankly, if this is true, this is fantastic news. And if Apple can work a proprietary gamepad into an annual April press announcement regarding a full App Store for the Apple TV, then all will be right with the world. The Apple TV could function perfectly as a small iOS console.
After all, Android is already beating Cupertino to the punch. The Ouya, a $99 open console, has already started shipping to Kickstarter backers. And competing Android game device GameStick -- which packs a simple USB dongle right into the controller -- is shipping soon.
Third-party hardware makers have attempted to create iOS controllers with varying results. ThinkGeek's iCade line, including a fantastically retro cabinet and the Nintendo-inspired 8-bitty, are both wonderful devices. But without official Apple support, third-party iOS controllers have faced an uphill battle in finding widespread adoption from developers. An official controller could be Apple's next big step into the games market.
Follow this article's author, Matt Clark, on Twitter.
Image Source: ThinkGeek