Apple took some time to talk gaming during a presentation closed to the public yesterday at WWDC. While noting that gaming is now an area that Apple is “pushing on very strongly”, the company also announced a new feature coming for gamers and developers: Controller Forwarding.
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Controller forwarding is a feature that expands on the Made-For-iPhone/iPad game controllers that Apple introduced alongside iOS 7 last year. The feature will allow MFi controllers that snap onto iPhones (like this one from Logitech that we reviewed) to act as a controller for iPads and Macs. Not only will you be able to use your iPhone with a connected MFi game controller as a controller for games running on an iPad or Mac, developers will be able to take advantage of motion control, the touchscreen on the iPhone, and the physical buttons on the controller itself for input.
This setup could have big advantages of a traditional Bluetooth controller connected to an iPad or Mac, as the iPhone integrated into the controller provides devs with access to the touchscreen and the device’s sensors.
Apple also shared some stats on gaming during its presentation for developers. A year after introducing MFi controllers, the company says it now has “thousands” of games with support and it’s also launched in-store demos with the controllers at Apple retail stores recently as part of its push into gaming.
Another new stat: Game Center reached around 130 million monthly active users last month.