Apparent Leaked iPhone Game Controller from Logitech Is Just What You Expected

It's a shell with buttons that your iPhone snaps into, natch.

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evleaks / Twitter

Thanks to the fairly reliable @evleaks Twitter account, we may have our first glimpse at Logitech’s iPhone gamepad. There’s nothing unusual about it.

From the product rendering, it appears to be a long slab with a slot for the iPhone in the middle. It appears to add a little over two inches in length, without adding much width. There’s a directional pad on the left, four face buttons on the right and a pair of shoulder buttons on top. In terms of inputs, it’s the equivalent of a Super Nintendo controller.

You may recall that Apple added official controller support in iOS 7, with Logitech and Moga confirmed as partners. The leaked image lines up nicely with one of the sample designs that appears in Apple’s developer documentation. If you’re worried about the lack of analog thumbsticks, fret not. The very same documentation allows for controllers with thumbsticks as well as two buttons on each shoulder. A company called ClamCase has already announced its own thumbstick-laden solution, called GameCase.

Respectfully, I disagree with my colleague Matt Peckham, who believes there won’t be a market for these controllers. He believes that only large-scale, console-quality games developed natively for iOS will help justify physical controls, and that there’s a chicken-and-egg scenario that prevents it from happening.

Personally, I’d love to play Tetris, Limbo or Grand Theft Auto on my iPhone with physical controls, even if they are just ports of existing games. Moreover, if any platform stands to solve the chicken-and-egg problem, it’s iOS. Just look at how the iPad’s tablet app selection ballooned after launch. And if Apple TV ends up supporting games with physical controls, developers will have even more incentive to create new games with controllers in mind.

As for when these controllers will go on the market, that’s still a secret. It’ll be interesting to see how many games try to work with a full array of shoulder buttons and thumbsticks, versus the stripped down controls that Logitech will reportedly offer.

10 comments
ricky.ellmore
ricky.ellmore

Needs more buttons if I want to be able to play GTA on my phone. There are ALOT of actions which when originally created, there were two shoulder buttons and two joysticks. I can't imagine trying to play a 1st/3rd person game with a D pad. Groan...

KobeWild
KobeWild

I'm all for a controller like this.. but it need one thing. A space for a battery inside. if there's one thing that kills your phone battery, fast that's games..  it should use the same type of flat removable battery that the other cellphones use..  Then you'll have a win win.  killing two iphone issues with one stone. playing games without the frustrating touch screen and keeping your always dead or dying iphone charged.

khaledmourad99
khaledmourad99

Apple will make it happen, i believe next could be gaming for Ipad 5 & ipad mini 2 which this controller could  work with also

RamStoney
RamStoney

My brother has been playing games with a PS3 controller on his Galaxy Nexus for well over a year now. It's good to see that Apple is innovative as always.

newmanjb
newmanjb moderator

@RamStoney For what it's worth, third-party solutions have been around on iOS for a while as well (such as iCade). The interesting thing about iOS 7 is that Apple is adding official controller support, with guidelines for hardware makers and app developers. Google hasn't done much to support controller-based gaming on Android, and it's a bit of a wild west in finding games that work with your particular controller. I'm saying this as someone who owns a SteelSeries Free and has tested several Android game controllers on my Nexus 7 and HTC One.

Jsplinter
Jsplinter

@RamStoneyI am not an Apple fanboy (I run Windows and Ubuntu exclusively at home), but using the phone as a controller AND monitor is different from using it as a monitor only.

ricky.ellmore
ricky.ellmore

@newmanjb @RamStoney Like trying to find the jump button for Sonic 4 (for a PS3 controller, it's the shoulder buttons, the main buttons just pause the game). As you say newmanjb, by adding OFFICIAL support and guidelines, Sega could rectify this with iOS and map the correct buttons to the correct actions, beit pause or jump.