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Old Jun 13, 2014, 02:50 AM   #1
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Surge of iOS Game Controllers at E3 as Speculation Looks Towards Apple TV Gaming




TouchArcade has posted a roundup featuring a look at the surprising number of the new iOS gaming controllers shown off at this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) event in Los Angeles, California.

New products from gaming companies such as Mad Catz, Razer, SteelSeries, Hori, Signal, Phonejoy, and BigBen Interactive were all shown off at the event, with each company pushing various hardware styles and features to better cater to iOS users.

Mad Catz's C.T.R.L.i controller was described as TouchArcade's favorite of the various controllers shown. It features a full-sized design with console-style controls including face buttons, analog sticks, shoulder bumpers and triggers.

The controller can connect to any iOS 7 device through Bluetooth functionality, and also includes an optional clip for attaching an iPhone. Other controllers like BigBen Interactive's GamePhone Controller Pro, Hori's MFi controller, Signal's RP-One, and Steelseries' Stratus XL also showed off similar full-sized designs.

Meanwhile, controllers like BigBen Interactive's GameGrip and PhoneJoy's MFi controller showed off a design that wraps around an iOS device similar to the MOGA Ace Power and the Logitech Powershell.

Phonejoy's controller in particular contains the ability to fully collapse while not in use, while BigBen's GameGrip can wrap around an iPad mini and even a full-sized iPad. Razer also demoed its Junglecat controller, which contains a sliding mechanism with face buttons and a directional pad.

The introduction of all these new iOS controllers comes as rumors surrounding the next-generation Apple TV have ramped up, with some of that speculation focusing on the device's gaming capabilities. To this point, some have speculated that Apple could utilize iOS gaming controllers, a set-top box, and an App Store ecosystem to become a major force in the console gaming industry. Original Xbox engineer Nat Brown and Steam founder Gabe Newell shared sentiments that Apple could take the lead in the games console market with such a system.

Iconfactory software engineer Sean Heber (via Daring Fireball) recently wrote a blog post on how Apple could use its new Metal and AirPlay peer-to-peer technologies introduced in iOS 8 to provide a new console gaming experience with the Apple TV and iOS gaming controllers. He explains that Apple could ultimately allow users to use their iOS devices as controllers with minimal input lag, as games would be playable on both the Apple TV and iOS devices:
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The key difference is where the AirPlay extension app actually executes - the AirPlay extension app will be automatically uploaded to whatever AppleTV you are currently AirPlaying with and will run directly on the AppleTV natively instead. This means no video streaming lag and minimal controller lag. Your iPhone would then turn into a generic game controller with onscreen controls or, if you have a physical shell controller attached to your iPhone, it activates that instead.

...You can play without needing to purchase the game on that particular AppleTV, without needing to sign in with your iCloud account to access your purchases, without needing to get their wifi password, or indeed without there even needing to be a wifi network to join in the first place. All without any hassle. When you go home, you take the game and any earned progress along with you in your pocket.
In addition to gaming, Apple's next-generation Apple may also feature cable-box capabilities and perhaps a streaming TV service through a partnership with Comcast. However, Apple's iTunes Chief Eddy Cue said recently that Apple is continuing to work on a way to improve the television experience, but a fix is "complicated."

Article Link: Surge of iOS Game Controllers at E3 as Speculation Looks Towards Apple TV Gaming
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 02:52 AM   #2
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All I want is for sony to make a clip to hold my iphone above a Dualshock 4. What I would give for Dualshock 4 support in iOS...
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 02:57 AM   #3
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The key difference is where the AirPlay extension app actually executes - the AirPlay extension app will be automatically uploaded to whatever AppleTV you are currently AirPlaying with
I smell future exploits.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 02:58 AM   #4
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I love these games. What a great way to fill an afternoon.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 02:59 AM   #5
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until the get Fully functional PC/Console games on to AppleTV or iOS there isn't going to be much competition


sure iOS+Android competes with the nintendos and sonys mobile game industry


but they aren't touching the console and pc market till they can handle those type of games.


i have no intention to play iOS games on apple tv, possible tell tale games like walking dead or wolf among us, and couple arcade games but besides that not much. might be good enough for the casual/social gamer.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:04 AM   #6
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Maybe the convergence of OSX and iOS will happen in the overdue AppleMiniMacTV.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by loon3y View Post
until the get Fully functional PC/Console games on to AppleTV or iOS there isn't going to be much competition


sure iOS+Android competes with the nintendos and sonys mobile game industry


but they aren't touching the console and pc market till they can handle those type of games.


i have no intention to play iOS games on apple tv, possible tell tale games like walking dead or wolf among us, and couple arcade games but besides that not much. might be good enough for the casual/social gamer.
Well, they probably would concentrate on the casual side. But did you see the Metal demos at WWDC? The A7 chip inside every current iPhone and iPad is capable of incredibly impressive effects right now. The iPad Air is already rendering at greater than HD resolution at 60 fps. Then, consider that we just started a new generation of consoles that last what, about 7 years? Imagine what the A8, A9...A??? chips will do. The capabilities are likely to surpass what current XBOX/PS4/Wii U consoles are capable of, long before the next generation of console comes out. Also, Apple would have fewer power and thermal constraints than in a phone, they could get even more out of the same chips. And Apple can sell even a beefed-up Apple TV for perhaps half as much as consoles or less.

It's an incredible opportunity and if the boxes are out there, even the top games will come (although obviously not those produced exclusively for/by Nintendo/Sony/MS). Apple is on pace to sell 14M or more Apple TVs in 2014, even in its current bare-bones "hobby" incarnation, and that will be more if there's a serious gaming version, with the app store to support it.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:37 AM   #8
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In the WWDC keynote they kept saying "console-level gaming"

It would be cool for the next AppleTV to be a game console as well.

Apple already has everything to make it happen... hardware, an app store, developer support...

And now controllers
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:41 AM   #9
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As much as Apple loved saying "console level gaming", I highly doubt the ATV will reach that standard running on an ARM chip and using a phone with a 3rd party game controller as a controller.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I'm somewhat skeptical.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:47 AM   #10
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For console level gaming, think less Xbox one/Playstation 4
And more SNES or Saga Megadrive!

But seriously I hardly use my ATV and if a way to play games on it that is better than the current lag and iPhone airplay come out I day bring it on.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:50 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by roadbloc View Post
As much as Apple loved saying "console level gaming", I highly doubt the ATV will reach that standard running on an ARM chip and using a phone with a 3rd party game controller as a controller.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I'm somewhat skeptical.
At this point i think Apple really has 2 options for the TV. Crunch it's price down to compete with the Chromecast or give it a serious app store and processor upgrade to compete with the Kindle Fire TV And Sony Playstation TV while keeping the same price point.

If they take the second approach a storage bump or microSD card slot would be essential too.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 03:59 AM   #12
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I'm excited for gaming on the AppleTV, but I do feel like Apple needs to allow themselves a price increase (maybe $200-$300) to offer something a little more competitive hardware-wise.

I don't think they should try and compete directly with the XBOX ONE or PS4, but to have something that's at least as powerful as their top end iPhones and iPads could wipe out the Wii (and possibly a few other devices). With a robust App store, Airplay, other interactions with iOS devices, home automation, possible cable box replacement... there's enough here to warrant a more powerful machine. Perhaps the more expensive AppleTV acting as a hub with smaller satellite devices hooked up to any additional TVs.

There's another opportunity here: for Apple to replace ALL living room boxes; not at the highest end, mind you, but what if they also replaced low-end stereo receivers. That's one AppleTV possibly replacing a cable box, internet box (current AppleTV), audio receiver, home automation hub, and games console. Who knows.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 04:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadbloc View Post

As much as Apple loved saying "console level gaming", I highly doubt the ATV will reach that standard running on an ARM chip and using a phone with a 3rd party game controller as a controller.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I'm somewhat skeptical.
Well maybe not XBOX One/Playstation 4 level gaming... but imagine the best iOS games on a 60" TV with a controller. And future games as Apple's AX series processors evolve.

It would certainly be more popular than any of those Android game boxes... for the reason I listed before (hardware, app store, developer support, etc)

OUYA who?
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 04:05 AM   #14
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Gogo Apple TV as a games compatible machine where the iPhone (+ optional controller shell) can be used to expand the gaming experience, Wii U-style!

That would be an incredible way to extend the seamlessness of the ecosystem, while enticing devs to the platform. Games where you can take the iPhone version with you as a mini game to achieve certain things that you can then use in the full format version on the Apple TV... Or iPhone games that gain split screen multiplayer when you connect several of them to the Apple TV...

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterK View Post
I'm excited for gaming on the AppleTV, but I do feel like Apple needs to allow themselves a price increase (maybe $200-$300) to offer something a little more competitive hardware-wise.
Yup, it would need a hardware bump to be competitive, for sure. One solution might be Apple TV in two versions, where the more expensive option has the more games optimized hardware? Then those not interested could simply buy the cheaper one to have the Apple TV functionality already available today.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 04:21 AM   #15
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When I saw the Metal demo during the WWDC videocast the first thing that came to mind was that they were setting the stage for a new AppleTV using the A7 processor. Given the timeframe for iOS 8 and the next iPad Air/iPhone 6 we can probably expect to see a new app-enabled, A7-based AppleTV either late this year or in early 2015. That will give Apple time to roll out iOS 8 to the mobile products and to upgrade them to the A8 processor (or whatever comes after the current A7). Then, after all that hoopla they can release a new Apple TV using the "mature" and relatively "cheap" A7 technology (maybe an A7 lite, without some of the sensors and other phone/mobile related technology).
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 04:57 AM   #16
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Well, they probably would concentrate on the casual side. But did you see the Metal demos at WWDC? The A7 chip inside every current iPhone and iPad is capable of incredibly impressive effects right now. The iPad Air is already rendering at greater than HD resolution at 60 fps. Then, consider that we just started a new generation of consoles that last what, about 7 years? Imagine what the A8, A9...A??? chips will do. The capabilities are likely to surpass what current XBOX/PS4/Wii U consoles are capable of, long before the next generation of console comes out. Also, Apple would have fewer power and thermal constraints than in a phone, they could get even more out of the same chips. And Apple can sell even a beefed-up Apple TV for perhaps half as much as consoles or less.

It's an incredible opportunity and if the boxes are out there, even the top games will come (although obviously not those produced exclusively for/by Nintendo/Sony/MS). Apple is on pace to sell 14M or more Apple TVs in 2014, even in its current bare-bones "hobby" incarnation, and that will be more if there's a serious gaming version, with the app store to support it.



the graphics are good no doubt about that, but can it handle all the features of a full PC/console game?


i run BF4 on my PC gaming tower with a GTX670, i can hardly fathom an apple TV handling 1080p BF4 on ultra settings anytime soon.

that just my thought.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 05:45 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by HiRez View Post
The A7 chip inside every current iPhone and iPad is capable of incredibly impressive effects right now. The iPad Air is already rendering at greater than HD resolution at 60 fps. Then, consider that we just started a new generation of consoles that last what, about 7 years? Imagine what the A8, A9...A??? chips will do. The capabilities are likely to surpass what current XBOX/PS4/Wii U consoles are capable of, long before the next generation of console comes out.
Not so sure about the next A chips. There are plenty of problems cropping up in the cpu industry, merely because conventional chips are not going to work at greater levels of compression. I take it that the A series of chips are really good, because they compress lots of power into as little space as possible, and use little energy ?
Well, the more you make things smaller, the closer you get to the quantum levels, meaning, electrons are starting to disappear from cells, etc. There will have to be a serious breakthrough in quantum computation, otherwise all the cpu industries will all hit a limit in terms of compression to power ratio. So, I imagine that the further continuation of the A series will ... not be so great
Merely my 2cents
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 05:59 AM   #18
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It's an incredible opportunity and if the boxes are out there, even the top games will come (although obviously not those produced exclusively for/by Nintendo/Sony/MS). .
Of course, Apple has the clout and wallet to fund some impressive "exclusives" of their own if they desire... Probably wouldn't happen overnight but I agree, as you said- and they could handle some pretty decent games with an A8 or an "A8X" if they decided to beef up the GPU even further.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 06:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by loon3y View Post

the graphics are good no doubt about that, but can it handle all the features of a full PC/console game?

i run BF4 on my PC gaming tower with a GTX670, i can hardly fathom an apple TV handling 1080p BF4 on ultra settings anytime soon.
Could an AppleTV be on par with a Wii? Nintendo proved you don't always need raw horsepower.

I could imagine an AppleTV being a much better gaming platform than an iPhone (especially with a physical controller)

Of course it wouldn't beat an XBOX/Playstation/PC... but I don't think it has to either.

Just imagine a $99 or $149 AppleTV in every home in America. Games for the kids... Netflix for the adults.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 06:43 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by loon3y View Post
the graphics are good no doubt about that, but can it handle all the features of a full PC/console game?


i run BF4 on my PC gaming tower with a GTX670, i can hardly fathom an apple TV handling 1080p BF4 on ultra settings anytime soon.

that just my thought.
The ATV with an app store doesn't *need* to compete with any consoles, and for it to be truly successful, in the early days it should *not* compete with the consoles, that's a battle they won't win, at least in the early days. In the early days any gaming will be aimed at the iOS gaming community, the casual gaming people, either people who don't have a console (would never buy one) or never turn on the console they have but still enjoy playing games.

A new ATV would be for people who already own iOS devices and have already purchased games for their iOS device, now those games would work on their television with a physical controller - sort of like a console, but not a dedicated gaming console.

In the future the technology of these devices will obviously advance, maybe even to a point where they offer similar capabilities as a dedicated gaming device or a PC, but for it to be successful, they don't need that today, the only people who demand that today already have alternatives, it's the people who don't demand that today that they can offer this device to.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 06:43 AM   #21
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The fact that apple has let the appleTV languish as long as it has, with what it's true potential could be, is maddening as well as totally idiotic.

An amazing potential resource, and it's like they couldn't care less. A friend is building an appleTV app. You have to get a special version of an appleTV from apple directly, and I've been told that the development environment for it, is ancient/pathetic.

It's like apple isn't even trying.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 07:05 AM   #22
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The fact that apple has let the appleTV languish as long as it has, with what it's true potential could be, is maddening as well as totally idiotic.

An amazing potential resource, and it's like they couldn't care less. A friend is building an appleTV app. You have to get a special version of an appleTV from apple directly, and I've been told that the development environment for it, is ancient/pathetic.

It's like apple isn't even trying.
Don't ignore what they *are* doing. One year ago they announced the MFi controller programme, this year they announced Metal. Both of these indicate that they are indeed doing something with this device, it's just that these changes, which are necessary for any update to the device (Metal not so much necessary, but certainly a very nice to have), can be done on the sly without an official announcement. Changes need to happen in the apps, getting as many of those changes done now means when they officially announce that fewer changes will need to happen and that means more apps available when it is announced.
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 07:19 AM   #23
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And what about Swift? Wouldn't it help the development environment too?
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 07:24 AM   #24
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Nothing for keyboard and mouse gamers?
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Old Jun 13, 2014, 07:32 AM   #25
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The mad catz one finally seems like the first decent controller for iOS.
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