Apple’s new iPhone game controller concept is pretty wild

We see Apple patents almost every week, and they invariably offer fascinating insight into future products the company might (or might not) have up its sleeve. And here’s one we’ve never seen before from Apple: a game controller.

But not just any game controller. Apple has filed a patent for a device that can magnetically attach to the iPhone (yes, probably via MagSafe). The company has shared a few different setups, including versions that can fold up. As with all Apple patents, it remains to be seen if they’ll ever see the light of day, so don’t overlook these Nintendo Switch deals just yet.

Main controller for iPhone

Currently, iOS gamers are limited to third-party options like Backbone (pictured) (Image credit: Backbone)

Titled the eye-catching Magnetically Attachable Gaming Accessory, the brief describes how such an accessory could “easily attach to an electronic device, be easy to use, and have a small and efficient form factor.”

Curiously, it looks like Apple took inspiration from the Switch here. The filing details how the controller could be attached to the device or used separately – much like, admittedly, Nintendo’s joy-cons. But the idea of ​​using magnets is new – we just hope Apple fixes its MagSafe strength issues in time.

Apple game controller patent

A screenshot of the patent showing the controller magnetically attached to an iPhone (Image credit: Apple)

Among the variants described by Apple, the craziest includes a built-in projector, allowing gamers to access a much larger screen. It might even trump the Switch for versatility – who needs the best 4k monitors when you’re carrying a potentially massive display in your pocket?

Apple game controller patent

One version (right) includes a built-in projector (Image credit: Apple)

But perhaps the most exciting thing about the filing is the fact that it suggests Apple is finally ready to take gaming seriously. The company has dipped its toes with offerings like Apple Arcade, but n failed to take the power of, say, the PS5 (check out the latest PS5 restock news if you fancy your chances). And rumors that Apple is developing its own real console have been around for years – is it a stretch to think that a controller might end up accompanying a full-fledged console?

Of course, all of this might never happen – it’s just a patent filing now. But it’s pretty solid evidence that Apple is at least planning to up its gaming credentials. And it’s not the only company with some wild controller ideas. Sony’s new PS5 controller concept looks like it could be a game-changer (literally).

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