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How Apple plans to fix gaming on the iPad

The recent unveiling of a 2008 patent filing may shed some light on how Apple plans to deal with touch-screen gaming on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.


Say what you will about the new iPad, but there's no denying it's a sleek and sexy device. Good looks aside, there is certainly some friction between the gaming community and Apple's new tablet.

Sure, the iPhone and iPod Touch have carved out a considerable niche in the casual gaming market, but, like we've said before, it's tough to consider the platform a legitimate gaming machine without buttons. The same can now be said about the iPad and its 10-inch screen.

We've had plenty of hands-on time with gaming on the iPhone, and though it's a relatively pleasurable experience with titles that just require tapping, the same cannot be said for games that were originally created for consoles with controllers. Sonic the Hedgehog is a perfect example of this shortcoming, as the game performed quite well with the major exception of having to use an onscreen virtual button configuration.

Of course the iPad will give developers more real estate to work with, but it's arguably even tougher to grasp the iPad like you would a normal handheld gaming device. The recent unveiling of a patent filing may give some more insight as to how Apple plans on addressing the awkwardness of touch-screen gaming.

As seen on IntoMobile, a 2008 filing of a patent by Apple specifically outlines an accessory that closely resembles a frame that houses your device--be it an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. The frame itself has various control buttons including a conventional D-pad that's seen on pretty much every gaming controller out there.

The 23-page patent goes on to suggest multiple design configurations, some that suggest adding a physical keyboard, others diagramming wireless connections.

It's tough to imagine Apple releasing a product that would severely chunkify its otherwise slim products, so it'll be interesting to see how these accessories make their way to market--that is if they ever do at all.

So what do you think? Would you embrace a frame-looking device for an iPhone or iPad to improve your overall gaming experience? Would you sacrifice Apple's sleek design for something that will probably make it a bit clunkier?

(Source: IntoMobile via Kotaku)