I’m disagreeing with the mainstream tech press that MFI certified wrap-around controllers don’t indicate Apple is finally getting serious about gaming. They obviously didn’t actually read the SDK documentation they broke their NDAs to post images from. Since the info is out there anyway, here’s what everyone missed:
There are 3 types of controllers. Wrap-around simple, wrap-around advanced, and external advanced. The advanced controller is a dual-stick + dpad controller with face buttons, triggers, and shoulders (pretty much an Xbox 360 controller), complete with PLAYER ID LED INDICATORS.
Apple actually intends for people to have multiple standalone controllers to use for 1-4 player games on a single device.
That seems like a stretch even on a 10 inch iPad, but there it is in the docs, complete with a Sample project.
Maybe Apple expects people to gather around 27″ iMacs.
Airplay wouldn’t be comfortable with the window-boxing and lag.
iOS 7 has a minimum requirement of an iPhone 4. Basically: single Core A4 with 512MB of RAM (which is why the iPod Touch 4 at 256MB is out). Controllers require Lightning or Bluetooth. Can we think of another device that meets these requirements AND has an HDMI port on it? hmmm Oh that’s right, the 3rd generation Apple TV with it’s single core A5, 512MB of RAM, and basically unused bluetooth capability.
This fall, when Apple releases iOS 7 into the wild alongside a new iPhone(s?) at its annual event, they will likely show off an MFI controller or two they like – paired with an AppleTV 3 running a flagship game either made by them or with a big name publisher who they got to agree to an iOS exclusive. The SDK will be opened that day and the app store will open around the holidays.
If you’re a developer, go watch the session videos.