A leaked image of what appears to be Logitech’s gamepad for the iPhone has hit the Twitter wire today, via the @evleaks account. The account has been known to reliably tweet images of upcoming products from a variety of mobile companies including Samsung, Nokia and others.
The gamepad looks a lot like the leaked prototype from earlier this year and images that were shown during presentations to Apple’s WWDC developer attendees back in June. The pad has four physical buttons on the right, what appears to be two bumper buttons on the top and a d-pad on the left.
Apple added support for gamepads with its iOS 7 update, but the gamepads themselves have yet to materialize. Logitech also teased the controllers last month with an image of empty hands and an iPhone.
There were three types of controllers mentioned during Apple’s presentations including two types of ‘case controllers’ and a standalone unit that communicates with the iPhone via Bluetooth. Any one of those controllers would offer more precise tactile control over platformers, shooters and any number of other game types that don’t do so well with touch screens.
Two of the possible designs that Apple showed off included dual thumbsticks, but it doesn’t appear that this design includes those. Logitech is an MFi (Made for iPod) member, so this would likely be produced under that partner program.
Previously, accessory makers had to rely on very poor Bluetooth keyboard hacks to simulate the button inputs of a gamepad. The new integration will allow not only physical connection via the Lightning port but also more precise button mapping and better response times.
The addition of gamepad support comes at an interesting time for Apple, as gaming revenues for Android and iOS begin to rival those from established giants like Nintendo. If these take off — especially if they do integrate analog sticks — it could spell real trouble for the powerhouse portable business represented by offerings like the Nintendo DS line.
Image Credit: Marco Crocoli/ Flickr CC