The rumor mill has been swirling for years that Apple would be jumping into the console race with a similar device to the upcoming Steambox. Well, it seems that the possibility of the rumor coming to light may be closer than we all think. According to Computerandvideogames.com, Apple took time to meet with developers and inform them that they are in the process of developing an official gamepad for the iOS operating system. The news isn’t surprising considering even Samsung showed off the gamepad that they are releasing for use with the next iteration of the Samsung Galaxy S series phone. On top of that, the other swirling rumors of the next iPad being shown off at a press event this month, only pays homage to the development cycle for new accessories which at that point, is not all that shocking. What may come as more of a surprise is the possibility that the controller could have bigger implications on the next iPad and it’s overall capabilities.Not to mention systems, such as the Ouya, that are supporting the largest competitor to Apple, Android, are seeing extremely substantial support from the general public has to be peeking Apple’s interest.
While Apple has maintained their stronghold on the mobile industry their innovations outside of that market have been rather mediocre, including the likes of Apple TV. The computer industry has been solid for Apple, but never been the monopoly that the mobile industry has developed into. The money maker is undoubtedly the iPhone and iPad, but what if the iPad in particular could do more in the form of gaming than any of it’s predecessors? There is little argument to be made that the mobile gaming market has made leaps and bounds forward over the last couple of years, considering games like Dead Trigger, Need for Speed Most Wanted, Infinity Blade, among others look stunning on the tablet and phones that they are being played on. Gamers, however, have never truly embraced the tablet form of gaming due to the control issues that plague on-screen buttons and joysticks. Sure, there are options such as Bluetooth controllers and things like Logitech’s own Fling-Stick, but none have a true “video game” controller feel or response as many are delayed in some way which impedes on the enjoyment of the title.
To hear that the next iPad and iPhone will enjoy a fully fledged and functional Apple branded controller is exciting, but at the same time a logical step to aid bring gamers to tablet mobile gaming rather than that of the Vita or Nintendo 3DS. Not only will the controller, surely, feature a full game controller functionality but likely will produce delay free controls that will satisfy those that prefer the controller feel. With graphics, as discussed before, being improved so much and the depth of games becoming more in-tuned with games that are seen on traditional consoles the possibilities of consumers looking to play the same games that are being played on the tablet, on their big screen seems like a logical fit. Not to mention systems, such as the Ouya, that are supporting the largest competitor to Apple, Android, are seeing extremely substantial support from the general public has to be peeking Apple’s interest. So the likelihood that Apple is developing the controller with the iPad and the possibility of the iPad hooking to your television seems fairly obvious.
So this next iPad could wind up being the home console that everyone had thought Apple would have released a couple of years ago. Knowing the company though, the chances that Apple will make it as simple as a mini or even full-sized HDMI cord being the connection to a TV seems almost laughable. This is the same company that has developed so many individualized contraptions for the iPhone and iPad it’s unreal. The chances of some sort of streaming box, or special connector is the most logical assumption for the public to make. When it comes to Apple, its about making something that people have to spend more money on to complete their experience rather than making it easier on the individuals supporting the products provided. I mean, they are putting out an Apple branded controller after all, aren’t they?
Apple would be very intelligent to make a leap into the console business, but making one that allows people to play the same games that they do on the go, on the same device that they can connect to their TV and play there as well looks to be the best business decision. With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 on the verge of a release, Apple could mix in a very interesting opportunity for those looking for a new experience. Will it be a system of choice, possibly, but also possibly not. People already own iPads, considering it still is the best selling tablet in America, but most use them for the quick fix they need while waiting for something in their busy lives. To enjoy the same entertainment features from the comfort of their own living room, and not only that but on their big screen TV as well makes sense for Apple. It’s just one more market they can plug their branding into, and push for more mobile devices to be sold, but for some, even limiting the potential competition at the same time with an all-in-one machine is the true “genius” move that we have come to expect from the electronics giant.