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Apple patents new gaming controller

New controller from Apple similar to DualShock, will work with Apple TV

Apple's move into gaming, however unpronounced, has taken a tiny step forward with a new patent. Apple's new patent filing shows a gaming controller that could very well give core gamers an alternative to touch-screen gaming and open the doors to developers to bring more sophisticated games to iOS.

The patent, which was published today after being filed in March, will link various devices such as iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and other Apple owned hardware. The patent shows "a schematic of a video game controller for the standalone media player of [an Apple TV] or a video game system." The controller will use Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and NFC tags to connect to the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

The move shows that Apple is increasingly working on a way to break into the gaming industry at large, perhaps without bursting into the console market. This new controller could be seen as a competitor to the rising idea of platform-agnostic games, where developers hope that games will be the driving factor in getting gamers attached, not the platform itself.

Of course, this controller is by no means a reality, and like other patents, it's entirely possible that an actual product will never be borne from it.

[via GameRevolution]

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Latest comments (13)

Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 4 years ago
I'm having a good deal of difficulty figuring out what the novel, unobvious innovation in this patent is. Sounds to me like a universal remote.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
Watch out Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Things are bad now but they are just about to get much worse.


Also it amazes me that Apple are happy to copy what other people have done yet issue a patent every time they pass wind.
The whole patent system is broken and needs fixing.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bruce Everiss on 27th July 2012 7:27am

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Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd4 years ago
You wanna know what's so funny? I was just having a conversation with a few folks about this yesterday in the height of a conversation about some cool stuff that could be done with "smart glass" and cloud technologies at about 5:30pm (Edit: that's about an hour before this article was published).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 27th July 2012 8:11am

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Show all comments (13)
Sam Brown Programmer, Cool Games Ltd.4 years ago
The controller will use Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and NFC tags to connect to the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
Then why does that diagram show a cable coming out of it? Is it because the Dualshock has one? ^_^
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John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London4 years ago
Unless I'm missing something, apart from one slide showing a game controller being used to control an iPhone game, the patent's geared towards using your iPhone as a remote control for other devices, from climate control to consoles to computers (bizarrely they seem to be using it as a mouse in one picture). Given they used a picture of a PS3 Dualshock to represent the game controller and an Xbox 360 to represent the console, I'm not sure this is an indication that Apple are planning to release a games console and controller.

Also, how original is this patent? My wife already uses her iPhone to remote control iTunes on her laptop, and wasn't there a Sony patent recently about using a smartphone to remote control a console (picking songs in Singstar was the example they used, IIRC)?
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Joăo Namorado Project Manager, Portugal Telecom4 years ago
This is definitely NOT a patent for an alternative non-touch screen game controller, as stated in the news piece. It's a patent FOR a touch screen game controller.

Also, definitely nothing new in terms of concept. I already do most of those things for some time now.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster4 years ago
The only way I can describe Apple TV is "very dangerous" if Apple get serious about gaming on their on Ł99 box. It means serious implications for the industry.
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Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd4 years ago
I don't think this is a patent as much as it is a threat. My thought is that they issued purely for the press coverage to send a warning message to the games industry, put Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft's shareholders on edge and also to raise their own stock price.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 27th July 2012 11:02am

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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster4 years ago
I just want to say, this doesn't seem to be about a controller as much as it is about input devices generally across Apple products. I think John Bye picked up on this. The controller image is provocative though :p
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Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 4 years ago
Why in the hell are they granted that patent? touchscreen based controllers aren't anything new, the only new thing would be the RIFD and NFC, but in essence NFC is nothing more than something like bluetooth or wifi.
There is enough prior art in regard to tablets/phones as controllers..

And as mentioned here before, Apple rippsoff a lot of other companies but sues others if they even remotely do something like them..
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd4 years ago
Ugh, seriously people, can we stop with the "everyone is running scared from Apple" in every topic? No, they aren't. Aple is great at what they do, and they make lots of money at it, but their position as a "serious gaming" company is, to put it nicely, total shit. The App Store pricing model doesn't support the kinds of games that compete with console games. Those companies that try are making bad knock-offs and not a lot of money off of them (hello, Gameloft). The few that do make money are just that; very few. Apple may, someday, be some real competition for that market, but they aren't even close right now.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Nicholas Pantazis on 27th July 2012 9:12pm

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James Prendergast Research Chemist 4 years ago
Ugh.,.. broken patent system....
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Kayleigh McDougall Studying BA(Hons) Game Design and Production Management, University of Abertay Dundee4 years ago
Please say I'm not the only one who see Sony starting a lawsuit against Apple over this....
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