With a revenue of over a 100 billion, legions of adoring fans and an iOS empire that dominates the mobile market, Apple isn't a company anyone wants to go up against. That's why Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo might be eyeing a recently published patent with worry.
Filed in March and published today, the patent GR has discovered lists various inputs and interactions between iPhones, iPods and Apple TVs, including FIG. 6, which "is a schematic of a video game controller for the standalone media player of FIG. 4 or a video game system".
FIG. 4 is an Apple TV, which could easily become a video games console with an upgrade, and technically already can play iOS games over airplay. Currently, core gamers don't take the platform too seriously due to the lack of buttons that severely limits gameplay.
The controller is also shown to be able to connect to an iPhone/iPod Touch and presumably will be able to connect to an iPad if it ever becomes real. Connection is shown to be wireless, using Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and NFC tags, rather than the cable depicted.
If the controller does become a reality, it'll likely have a few design tweaks to stop it looking identical to the DualShock, but any type of physical controller from the industry behemoth would send ripples through the gaming world.