Why Apple's iOS 7 MFi controller support is a game-changer for developers


ControllerWhile Apple's revamped iOS 7 user interface generated most of the headlines out of last week's Worldwide Developer Conference, arguably the biggest news is the company's decision to support game controller hardware from third-party providers. The move is part of Apple's "Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad" (MFi) program and frees developers from installing external SDKs in order to use standalone accessories like joysticks or gamepads. This not only means that developers will have an opportunity to enhance the playing experience on existing games or ones they are planning to create, but that the iPhone and iPad could become a huge competitor to the traditional console market of Xbox and PlayStation 3.

Count Mario Vassaux among those looking forward to the possibilities iOS 7's MFi program and APIs represent. The founder of Formgen--which made hits like Duke Nukem 3D and was later sold to GT Interactive--as well as Ionos, Vassaux said he believes MFi support will allow developers to realize a more complete vision when they create a mobile game. "If you try to play a first-person shooter on an iPhone or if there's action involved, it's really hard," he said. "Gamers disconnect when they have a beautiful retina display on their iPhone 5, and it's all smudged up and they can barely see what's going on." Feature

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