Apple showed off a few pieces of new hardware at today’s event, including a finger-print reader equipped iPhone 5S and a colorful, slightly cheaper iPhone 5C. However it didn’t show any third-party gaming controllers taking advantage of the native support built-into iOS 7.
Apple announced that the company would add support for external controllers at this year’s World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco. By adding support for third-party controllers, the company is better able to compete against gaming specific handhelds like the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo DS handhelds.
Since Apple’s announcement that it would add first party controller support to its Made for iPhone program, a few developers have already stepped up to show off controllers for iOS. That includes iFrogz, who detailed its Caliber controller earlier this year.
Video game producers have also lined up to show support for the program. Gaming development company Crytek announced that it would be adding support for Made for iOS gaming controllers to its upcoming first person adventure gamed named The Collectibles.During the company’s showcase it used a Logitech controller, however Logitech hasn’t officially announced any plans to make a gaming controller available for iOS users.
By building support for controllers into iOS, Apple is moving to make the gaming experience on iOS uniform. While hardware creators will be able to create controllers of their own design, every one of them will follow one of three button profiles sets. These profile sets make it easier for developers to know what physical controls every iOS 7 user has at their fingertips. While Google’s Android does feature support for third-party controllers, the experience is somewhat tainted by the fact that some games simply don’t work with certain controllers or vice-versa.
Recent market research has found that Apple’s iOS and the devices that it runs on, like the iPhone and the iPad, are responsible for the overwhelming majority of mobile gaming revenue.
Apple says it will make iOS 7 available for users with the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S to download on September 18th. The operating system and third-party game controller support will come equipped on-board the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C when they go on sale on September 20th.