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Apple to Bring Official Game Controller Support to iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks

Apple to Bring Official Game Controller Support to iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks

While Apple did show off several of the more prominent new features of iOS 7 at their WWDC keynote, and on their iOS 7 website, one thing they didn’t mention was support for game controllers. According to Apple’s developer website (as noted by Touch Arcade), Apple will include official game controller APIs for developers in their latest SDK.

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 5.12.23 PM

They’ve also published a document on their developer site outlining hardware design guidelines for game controllers, which shows both a joystick-type controller and a game pad. The fact that Apple is embracing a game controller API is great news for gamers – while similar devices have been released in the past, such as the iCade series of controllers, they’ve all suffered from a lack of developer support. Competing brands of controllers also fail to be compatible with the others, further restricting the number of games they can be used with.

That could all change if Apple makes an API available and easy for developers to implement. We’ve been given the following official excerpt from Apple’s document by an anonymous developer:

The new Game Controller framework, added in iOS 7 and OS X v10.9, makes it easy to find controllers connected to a Mac or iOS device. Once discovered, your game reads control inputs as part of its normal gameplay. There are three kinds of controllers available:

  • A standard form-fitting controller: An iOS device sits inside the controller and the player can access both the iOS device’s screen and the controller elements.
  • An extended form-fitting controller: An iOS device sits inside the controller and the player can access both the iOS device’s screen and the controller elements.
  • An extended wireless controller: A controller that wirelessly connects to an iOS device or Mac.

The standard and extended controllers have specific, predictable control configurations.

I’ll be pretty excited to see the first devices based on the new standard become available. This could change the face of gaming on both iOS devices and Macs in a huge way.

 

 

 

Every year at WWDC features fly under the radar because Apple doesn’t have enough time to discuss them all. One interesting feature that was mentioned on a slide but not discussed further was game controllers, which will be supported on iOS 7 and OS X 10.9.

 

Playing traditional console style games on a touchscreen has always been difficult, especially when the developer has not tailored their game enough to a touchscreen. Now gamers do not have to worry about that problem if their favorite games support Apple’s game controllers API.

 

There are two different types of controllers that Apple showed on its developer site. One is a typical gamepad with joysticks, while another controller fits around the screen.

 

Previous attempts at adding controller support to iOS was done by multiple companies, including the ION iCade Mobile and the Duo Gamer. Unfortunately they didn’t provide a common way to support each other. So, for instance, one controller would support a particular number of games, while another controller would have its own library. This lead to fragmentation. Apple will have one way of adding support for controllers though, which eliminates that issue as long as everyone supports Apple’s method.

 

This is a great feature addition and if Apple ever provides an Apple TV SDK, controller support could move there too and compete with micro consoles like the OUYA and Project M.O.J.O.

 

 

 

 

The new Game Controller framework, added in iOS 7 and OS X v10.9, makes it easy to find controllers connected to a Mac or iOS device. Once discovered, your game reads control inputs as part of its normal gameplay. There are three kinds of controllers available:

  • A standard form-fitting controller: An iOS device sits inside the controller and the player can access both the iOS device’s screen and the controller elements.
  • An extended form-fitting controller: An iOS device sits inside the controller and the player can access both the iOS device’s screen and the controller elements.
  • An extended wireless controller: A controller that wirelessly connects to an iOS device or Mac.

The standard and extended controllers have specific, predictable control configurations.

 

 

http://appadvice.com/appnn/2013/06/new-hardware-standards-and-game-controller-apis-pop-up-at-wwdc-2013

iOS 7 to include support for standardized, MFi hardware game controllers, new turn-based game modes, & more for gamers

http://www.cultofmac.com/231508/apple-publishes-developer-guidelines-for-ios-os-x-game-controllers/

http://www.macgasm.net/2013/06/11/ios-7-and-os-x-10-9-gets-game-controller-support/

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2013/06/11/new-in-ios-7-game-controls/

  1. mrPoulet says:

    they use a cross, 2 analog joystick, 4 buttons and triggers…
    innovation => 0

    Beware msoft, sony and nintendo they will put a patent on it !

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