How will the world’s first wireless iOS controller change gaming?

SteelSeries announced the release of the Stratus Wireless Gaming controller during CES 2014. The controller, which operates on iPhone, iPad and iPod devices running on iOS 7, has achieved a console-like gaming experience on the mobile platform. This innovative release has not only thrown open opportunities in the mobile gaming world, but could potentially have a devastating impact on more traditional methods of play.

As the console war between Microsoft and Sony’s next generation releases wages on, mobile gaming has already started to eat away at console revenues, namely the handheld variety. According to a report by App Annie and the IDC, Q2 in 2013 saw game revenues on the iOS App Store and Google Play outsell gaming-optimised handhelds by four times.

ios controller

Although Q3 did see handheld console game shipments improve by almost 50%, thanks largely to hit releases on Nintendo 3DS, Apple iOS still remained the favourite line of portable gaming devices. The Nintendo DS, DSi and 3DS as well as Sony’s PlayStation Vita significantly fell behind Apple iOS, Android’s Google Play and Amazon’s Kindle Fire as U.S. gamers’ device of choice. This is unsurprising considering the large amount of affordable app titles and access to gaming sites, such as Europalace online casino, that these mobile and tablet devices offer over their handheld equivalents.

The launch of the first ever wireless iOS game controller will only see this gap widen further. Before the controller support of iOS 7, game developers had to actively implement a control scheme to allow players to take advantage of controller accessories. This was an expensive and time-consuming venture, with only a handful of gamers actually reaping the benefits. As a result, the standard of the mobile game controller market was inconsistent to say the least.

The Stratus controller has signified a major change. Apple are now embracing the gaming world and opening up official API access to hardware makers is only set to increase its AAA title offerings. Apple has already captured the young and casual player demographic with ease, but with more in-depth and ported game releases and better control, serious gamers may now be attracted to the benefits that a smartphone or tablet device has to offer.

As Apple start to make major strides into gaming, its releases could begin to exclusively target the gaming market. The Apple TV release could very easily evolve into a home console, allowing players to stream media and enjoy a rapidly growing library of games from their living rooms. Of course this doesn’t spell an immediate end to hardware by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, but Apple would have the potential to reach a much larger customer base, as well as becoming more attractive and profitable to developers and publishers.

Although the Stratus has yet to shake up the industry, it could spell a major change and the beginning of a new gaming direction that leaves console hardware companies struggling to keep their heads above water.