An image of what is supposedly a prototype of Logitech's upcoming iPhone game controller device has made its way to gamer website Kotaku. The design in the photos looks like it could be big enough to fit an iPhone 5, and is consistent with some of the specifications that Apple made last week during its WWDC event.
The controller in the images seems to support a directional pad, four action buttons, and what may be an analog stick. It connects to the iPhone via the Lightning port, rather than wirelessly, which is how some current "unofficial" iPhone games controllers hook up to the device.
Another image sent to 9to5Mac confirms the design. Apple is set to include official third-party game controller support for the first time in its upcoming iOS 7 release, and these images confirm this move may have serious implications for the handheld gaming markets.
Apple also plans to allow a sort of game controller with the same (or even more complex) controller functionality as the one shown here, but which connects wirelessly. If this is intended to allow multiple people to wirelessly play a game on one TV screen—or if the next-generation Apple TV is given similar graphical power to the iPhone—then Apple's moves will unsettle the console industry, as well.
To underline how much of a threat iOS gaming could be to established games machine makers, Crytek—the folks behind the famous Crysis and Far Cry games—demonstrated a tactical shoot-'em-up type game at Apple's WWDC and appeared to be using a wraparound iPhone controller.
Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation4 were battling for the limelight at the E3 show last week, with Sony's cheaper and seemingly more powerful $399 console considered to have "won" over the $499 Xbox. Both consoles, however, can be considered threatened by the rise in casual gaming on cheap mobile devices.