It would appear Apple revealed plans for the Apple Joypad at this year’s Game Developers Conference. The company didn’t offer details, however, and that’s where the rumors and speculation come in. GamerTell sources International Business Times for the story, who have a comical headline questioning whether Apple intends to combat the Xbox 720 and PS4. Let’s toss that laughable notion out the window right now, as the Joypad certainly won’t contain the type of hardware to take on the high end consoles, nor would Apple have any interest in entering that market.
Also, hard core gamers will not play a system with the word “joy” in the name (although I guess “Joybox” could appeal to the male teen audience).
More likely, the Joypad will be some type of device that sits comfortably between the iPhone/iPad and Apple TV. There is a massive library of iOS games available (over 2,400 racing games along, according to AppHero), but you’re still pretty much stuck playing them on your iDevice screen. Yes, many games can be played on the TV via AirPlay and Apple TV, but aside from a select few—namely racing games—you’re still pretty much stuck having to stare at your iPhone or iPad in order to control them.
So, could the Joypad be nothing more than a Bluetooth controller and an API kit for developers to use? Such controls have been available for Android devices for a while now, and the iPad does have the wonderful but limited iCade already. Plus, you wouldn’t have to replace your iDevice, but rather supplement it, which won’t cut into iPad, iPhone or iPod touch sales.
Or, could it be an update to the Apple TV OS that opens up the iOS game library to users? If Apple really wants to get crazy, how about a Wii U GamePad style device with both a touchscreen and tactile feedback controls for playing iOS games on your TV?
Whatever this ends up becoming, it’s going to lead to some fun speculation until we get additional details. International Business Times anticipates a formal announcement this month, but I expect we won’t know more until WWDC 2013 (or…gasp…E3!) in June. In the meantime, I’ve got a list of iOS games I’ll line up to try out on the device.
I think I’m starting with you, Samurai II: Vengeance.