Apple Patents Reveal Possible Controller Functionality For iPhone

by Matt Helgeson on Jul 26, 2012 at 02:43 PM


Apple has become a major player in video games, and a new patent filing shows that the company is thinking about the possibility of the iPhone communicating with existing video game systems and controllers.

Today, Apple filed patents on functionality relating to the iPhone and its AppleTV set-top box. The most interesting parts of the filing revealed possible plans to allow the iPhone to be used as a virtual controller for games, a remote for the Xbox 360, and the possibility that you could use conventional game controllers like the DualShock to play iPhone or iPad games.

The pictures below, taken from the filing, demonstrate the patents. In the first one, it appears to suggest that an iPhone be used as a virtual NES controller of sorts (in this case to play a Prince of Persia game). In the second, you see an iPhone being used as a remote control for the Xbox 360 (which seems in line with Microsoft's SmartGlass plans). Above, we see a PlayStation DualShock controller communicating with an iPhone.

As with many patents, there's a likelihood that none of these features ever makes it to consumers. Still, it's intriguing, especially for hardcore gamers put off by the lack of precise controls in touch-based mobile games.

Sources: Shacknews, IGN