Alongside iOS 7 came support for a new third-party accessory: game controllers. To use this feature, you need to both own an Apple-approved gamepad accessory and a compatible game from the App Store. We have seen leaks of MFI hardware from Logitech and other manufacturers, but nothing has yet hit the market.
As such, uptake for the new Game Controller APIs by developers has been slow as customers cannot yet take advantage of the feature. Today, the Unity framework announced on its blog that the newest version of its game engine surfaces inputs from these controllers natively in the SDK. Basically, Unity is offering a wrapper between Apple’s Objective-C API and Unity’s own game logic code.
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The Unity framework powers thousands of games in the App Store. The new game controller integration makes it easier for developers to implement gamepad support (if they use Unity) in their games, thereby increasing the rate of adoption across the platform.
Game controller support has also been a hot topic at Apple’s 2013 Tech Talks, which are currently being held around the world. For the first time, the event has been split into separate events for app and game developers. On the game days, Apple has been pushing the developer audience to update their games with joypad control, to ensure customers have a good library of compatible games available when the accessories start shipping in the coming months.
- MFi iPhone game controller from Logitech leaks (9to5mac.com)
- Logitech & ClamCase tease new MFi iOS game controllers (9to5mac.com)
- iOS 7 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch released; here’s our walkthrough (9to5mac.com)
- Extreme Reality SDK gives any iOS game Kinect-like motion control, now open to all devs (9to5mac.com)