Apple Once Tested a Physical Game Controller for iPhone

There are some who believe that touchscreens are not the optimal way to play a game, but rather that physical controllers much like those found bundled with the Xbox 360 or PS3 are much better for the job. In AnandTech‘s prolonged review of the new iPad, the author claims that he has knowledge of a physical game controller that Apple once tested on the iPhone…

I know of an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market, but whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen. As smartphones and tablets come close to equalling the performance of current game consoles, I feel like the controller problem must be addressed.

Many third-party accessory vendors have actually built accessories on this exact idea, though no one thought that Apple may have been planning the same thing at some point in time. Two of the most popular accessories include iControlPad and ION’s iCade Mobile. Both of these devices have slightly different ideas of how the iPhone should be controlled physically — the iControlPad being Bluetooth and flip-open like the Nintendo DS, while the iCade Mobile is much like Sony’s PSP, though a bit wider.

What do you think of all this? Could Apple eventually release a physical controller for their smartphone, or will they simply remain with the touchscreen-based one? Let us know in the comments.

[AnandTech]

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