iOS (s AAPL) is already the leading mobile gaming platform. But come this fall Apple should cement that lead by giving iOS app makers permission to create sanctioned devices that will turn its devices into actual game controllers. Kotaku has the first image of one of those devices on its blog today.
The slightly blurry image shows a handheld controller that fits around the iPhone like a case, with the directional pad and buttons that are standard with most controllers on either end of the device. Kotaku won’t say where it got the image, but says that it’s of a Logitech(s LOGI) device that fits an iPhone 5.
(Incidentally, if this is a Logitech case planned for introduction when a new iPhone is announced later this fall, the fact that it’s the same size as an iPhone 5 indicates that the new model will have the same form factor — more of an iPhone 5S upgrade than an iPhone 6.)
Apple hasn’t completely detailed its vision for the iPhone and iPod touch as gaming devices just yet. At WWDC last week it briefly mentioned a new API for turning devices into a game controller and an official MFi designation for some yet-to-be-named hardware makers. But come fall, when a new iPhone is likely to be announced, Apple should have more to share about how the controllers will work and interact with other devices like Apple TV via AirPlay and which hardware makers will be involved.