Apple may be working on physical gaming controller for the iPad

By on April 3, 2012, 7:30 AM

Apple is rumored to be working on a gaming controller for the iPad. During their new iPad review, Anand Lal Shimpi from Anandtech said he was aware of an internal project to create a physical controller but was unsure if it would ever see the light of day.

Tablet makers have demonstrated that you don’t need a physical controller for games to be interactive and fun. Most titles in the App Store use a simple one or two finger interface to control the action on screen but a growing number of games are becoming more complex and require more in-depth controls.

Console and PC titles like Grand Theft Auto are being ported to tablets and while the touch interface does work, it’s apps like this that could certain benefit from a physical controller with dedicated buttons. But does it really make sense for Apple to release such a product?

Well, that depends on who you ask. Android users have been enjoying USB gamepad support for some time now. Heck, there’s even an app called DroidMote that allows gamers to use their Sony Ericsson Xperia Play phone as a controller for an Android tablet. iOS option are a bit more limited but do exist via Bluetooth.

iControlPad is a universal control pad that works with a number of devices including several Apple models. Gametel showcased their portable controller for Android and iOS at CES 2012 and there are a couple of notable iPad products like the iCade and Fling analog joystick.

Do you think Apple will release a gamepad for the iPad / iPhone and if so, is it something you’d be interested in?

User Comments: 14

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psycros psycros said:

I can't see Apple releasing this. It just doesn't jive with their overall attitude towards design and entertainment. Now, if they were to suddenly dive into gaming - for example, adding OnLive to Apple TV - then all bets would be off. However, that's a set-top box - I still think they'd try to come up with a dock that supported wireless controllers before they'd let an iPad support them directly. Apple doesn't want people to *really* have the full power of a computer or game system in a tablet, because then they couldn't sell you a Macbook and the rest of their overpriced gear.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Can't see this happening, it would be like a step backwards for Apple, after all they popularised all the touchscreen gestures etc.

Also how are you supposed to hold the iPad while also using a controller?

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

slh28 said:

Also how are you supposed to hold the iPad while also using a controller?

Maybe it attaches to the iPAD or something? Most likely.


I remember a friend of mine using a wii controller to play games on his.


Nvm, it was an Android xD

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

Sounds pretty dumb...

Tygerstrike said:

Well I have noticed that a controller would make some of the apple apps more playable. I have both Ipad2 and Motorla Xoom. Both of which could definatly use a controller for better gameplay. Prime example.....I play Wizardry V on my Android tablet. Yes its a throwback game.....But its controls are WAY too close to the back button on my tablet. A controller would allow me to play the game w/o accidentally shutting down the game im playing.

To answer everyone comments on how would you use a controller and a tablet at the same time. Use a dock or one of those nifty laptop holder/coolers you see at RadioShack.

yRaz yRaz said:

they will create a controller then sue everyone who has one that looks like it. "It was our idea to mount buttons, analog sticks, a D-pad and triggers on this piece of plastic"

Issun said:

inb4 they name it "iGame"

yRaz yRaz said:

Issun said:


So many people reference that website and they know they shouldn't. Summer's almost here, don't cha' know?

killeriii said:

I like it!

Although i assume the final product will be shinier

ikesmasher said:

yRaz said:

Issun said:


So many people reference that website and they know they shouldn't. Summer's almost here, don't cha' know?


avoidz avoidz said:

Design evolution decides to get rid of the physical controls... then realises that we actually need them for proper input.

Guest said:

doesnt the steel series ion controller work with the ipad?

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