Summary:

Gaming on the iPhone or iPad can be fun, but it can also be a little lonely. Even multiplayer iOS games generally require two or more devices, or awkwardly passing one around between players. Griffin is about to release an accessory that could change that.

partydock

Gaming on the iPhone or iPad can be fun, but it can also be a little lonely. Even multiplayer iOS games generally require two or more devices, each with the same app installed, or awkwardly passing around your device. Griffin is about to release an accessory that could fundamentally change that equation.

Gizmodo found out about the new accessory via an FCC filing, so no official announcement has yet been made, but we’ll almost definitely see the hardware hitting store shelves in the near future. Griffin’s PartyDock will allow you to play games with up to four players on one iDevice, be it iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It’ll also provide TV-out capabilities so you won’t have to lean in super-close to watch the action.

The accessory, which comes with four Apple Remote-style controllers for player use, will initially work only with Griffin-branded games, so don’t get any premature ideas about SceneIt! Twilight up on the big screen just yet. No word either on whether Griffin plans on opening up the accessory to support licensed third-party games, though I think they’d be wise to if they want to move a considerable number of units.

Giz is quick to point out that if the iTV rumors prove true, and the device can play apps and costs $99, the PartyDock won’t have much of a place in any consumer hearts. A lot will depend on whether the iTV has any kind of innovative gaming control tricks up its sleeve (up to four connected Apple Remotes?) and how much Griffin plans to sell the PartyDock for.

What do you think? Would you welcome the chance to turn your iDevice into a TV-connected, multiplayer, interactive entertainment device, or is this just another bit of flotsam added to the already grossly overpopulated iPhone/iPad ecosystem?

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