It's already a groundbreaking smartphone and digital music player, but with the arrival of the iTunes App Store there also seems to be a lot of potential for the iPhone as a gaming platform. About a quarter of the 1,000+ applications released thus far are games and just by taking a quick glance at their top downloads lists - in both paid and free categories - we can tell that clearly there's a demand.
Up until now, however, gamers have pretty much been limited to tilt and multi-touch based gaming on the iPhone - but that's about to change. A leaked slide from Belkin shows an upcoming gaming accessory for the iPhone, the JoyPad, which snaps onto the device from the two ends to provide a more traditional control scheme with actual buttons. What's even more exciting is that coming from major accessory manufacturer it actually sounds possible that Apple will be providing support for the add-on in the system's SDK.
With Apple planning on selling over 10 million iPhones this year, developers far and wide certainly can't afford to overlook it as a gaming platform. Then again, we still have to wait and see if the iPhone's battery performance is strong enough to support the kind of "serious" gaming that this controller add-on suggests - that's where the bottleneck is.