Exclusive: Apple will launch an official gaming joypad soon

Secret revealed as it opens up to devs at GDC

Exclusive: Apple will launch an official gaming joypad soon
Long rumoured - and hoped for - GDC 2013 has finally provided confirmation that Apple will release its own dedicated game controller.

Of course, there's no official word yet, but Apple has been active during the conference talking to developers about its plans and ensuring plenty of games will support the joypad at launch.

It's been operating a meeting room at the show, albeit booked under a pseudonym company name to avoid media attention.

However, speaking anonymously, multiple developer sources have confirmed the news to

In the hand

It's expected Apple will formally announce its plans during its annual April press event; previously this has been centred around the iPad.

Many things remain unknown, though.

None of our contacts had seen or held the physical device so we don't know if the pad will take a conventional approach or employ a radical new design.

Following recent mishaps, Apple doesn't let unreleased hardware leave its closely guarded offices.

Neither are we sure when the pad will be released.

It would be logical for it to hit retail alongside a new iPad, but given the opportunities a dedicated controller would provide in the living room, we'd expect it to be part of a large announcement also revealing Apple's wide TV strategy, including a direct assault on the console businesses of Sony and Microsoft.

Everybody plays the joypad game

The news follows on from an explosion in third-party controllers from iOS and Android devices during 2012.

This has come from dedicated peripheral companies like MOGA and Nyko, as well as start ups such as Green Throttle, and even unconsole players like Ouya and GameStick, for whom a physical controller is a vital part of their plans to disrupt the console business.

Another example of the important of a game pad to big business was Samsung's surprise announcement of its Game Pad at the Galaxy S4 launch.

And to complete the picture, one developer source also told us that Google will be making its own announcement about an official game controller in the near future too.
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.


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Fraser Ross MacInnes Product/Design Director at Danke Games
Sounds like this is more confirmation that Apple is definitely working on a gamepad - as Keith says, whether that's also confirmation that it will be released is another matter. Really hope it happens though, the console market needs a shake up (or a wake up).
Igor McBell
2) no dev will support it
Like no developer supports iOS devices at the moment, right? Similar words to yours have been said in 2008.
3) nobody will care
Steve Ballmer said something like that before iPhone was released.
1) sounds fake

2) no dev will support it

3) nobody will care
Phil M
Apple are often criticised for not reaching out to the games development community, perhaps this time that is what they have done, and whether the rumours become reality or not, that's probably a good thing.
Keith Andrew
Todd - nope. The news came from trusted sources while at GDC. Whether it makes it to market is another matter, but we've been assured something was happening in San Francisco.

We don't run rumours lightly on - they're something of a rarity here.
Todd Morrison
Which is it? Confirmed or not confirmed? Looks like the story is unfounded and author is using the Apple name just to bait people into reading this generating hits on nothing.

"Long rumoured - and hoped for - GDC 2013 has finally provided confirmation that Apple will release its own dedicated game controller."

"Of course, there's no official word."

Jim says "nope" and I agree.
Fraser Ross MacInnes Product/Design Director at Danke Games
I hope this is a rare miss on Dalrymple's part...
Suleman Bhana
From Jim Dalrymple: "Nope"
Jeff Chausse
Jim Dalrymple says "Nope", so it's not happening. If you're not familiar with Jim, check his track record before responding.
Fraser Ross MacInnes Product/Design Director at Danke Games
Sooner than I thought - three cheers for things that make sense.
Josh Holloway
Relevant tweet from a developer at GDC:
Dave Mitchell Founder at Two Tails
We shall see.
Kristan Reed Consultant at Hit Detection
Great news. This changes everything.