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Where Are the iOS Game Controllers?

Gus Mueller posted his late 2013 Apple wish list. He has some interesting speculation about the fact that no iOS game controllers are on the market yet, despite iOS 7 having been release with support for them.

There has been speculation for years that the Apple TV would get games at some point, and I've even said that this would happen in two to three years. Well, I now think it'll happen before the end of the year for the following reasons:

  • Apple has said that they will enter a new product category this year.
  • The iPhone 5S just got 64 bit processor. That same processor would work great in an Apple TV which played games and it could even address 8GB of ram just like the new consoles from the other players in the market.
  • We've now got game controller support for iOS devices.

But you know what I think is really interesting? iOS 7 shipped last week and no game controller hardware was to be found. And the manufacturers have known for months that this was coming and certainly have had prototypes in the works for that long as well.

It seems to me that if you were making a game controller you would want have it available on the day iOS 7 shipped. Unless of course you weren't allowed to ship it yet for some reason. Maybe, just maybe… what if Apple said you had to wait to show it off with some awesome new unannounced hardware? Is that why we haven't seen any controllers yet?

Input has always been a fundamental issue with the idea of an Apple TV SDK. This has been solved for games in iOS 7 via game controller support. But would Apple release a product that relied on 3rd party hardware for something so fundamental? Or is it possible that Apple has something more in the works?

We'll know soon enough.