One of the great new iOS 7 features that hasn't gotten a terrible amount of press is its support for MFi game controllers. As a quick primer, "MFi" indicates that a product has been officially licensed for use on the iPhone / iPad / iPod and thus meets Apple's specifications. While current gaming on iOS is great, there's no getting around the fact that a physical d-pad and buttons opens up a whole new world of gaming possibilities.
On Thursday, two online teasers depicting hardware game controllers for iOS emerged.
First, we have a teaser video from ClamCase highlighting a MFi iOS controller it calls "GameCase."
Also making the rounds on Thursday was this Facebook photo from Logitech. The photo seems to imply that an iOS game controller is forthcoming.
If this type of thing piques your interest, you might be happy to learn that Apple has a whole lot of information up on its developer page dedicated to its new Game Controller framework.
An excerpt reads:
The new Game Controller framework, added in iOS 7 and OS X v10.9, makes it easy to find controllers connected to a Mac or iOS device. Once discovered, your game reads control inputs as part of its normal gameplay. There are three kinds of controllers available:
- A standard form-fitting controller: An iOS device sits inside the controller and the player can access both the iOS device's screen and the controller elements.
- An extended form-fitting controller: An iOS device sits inside the controller and the player can access both the iOS device's screen and the controller elements.
- An extended wireless controller: A controller that wirelessly connects to an iOS device or Mac.
The standard and extended controllers have specific, predictable control configurations.
One final point of interest; Apple stresses that games developed to work with hardware controllers must also be playable without them.