News

We found evidence that suggests that the App Store is going to add an indicator for controller support

Correction: As @beergeeksf pointed out on reddit, the code appears to have been added a long time ago and refers to controller support in the context of tvOS. We apologize for the confusion.

TL;DR: The App Store web pages contain code that seems to prepare the App Store for the addition of a gamepad support indicator. Read on for more info.

To keep our database of iOS games with MFi controller support as up-to-date as possible we’re running a couple of bots, that mine the internet for mentions of MFi controller supported games. We’re crawling reddit, blogs, some twitter feeds and … the web presence of the App Store (You know the pesky web App Store pages that constantly try to open iTunes).

Today two things caught our eyes: In the localization tables two keywords appeared, namely isGameControllerSupported and requiresGameController. We cannot quite make out when these keywords got added (making it possible, though very unlikely, that they have been there for a while), but it indicates that the web app for the App Store pages now supports displaying information about whether a game supports game controllers. This feature was heavily requested by users for years (and lack of it is one of the reasons this website exists). Adding an indicator for game controller support likely gained importance now, because during its last keynote Apple announced that Xbox and Playstation controllers can now be connected to iOS devices.

It’s worth noting that these keywords appear next to and are worded the same as other keywords that signify support for iOS-specific features and hardware. For example the keywords isAppleWatchSupported and supportsPassbook. Having these appear next to isGameControllerSupported and requiresGameController suggests, that they are used in the same way and belong to the same “responsibility area” of code.

As a disclaimer: Although we have a tech background, we couldn't fully reverse-engineer what exactly the code does, but after some investigation into this we came to we believe that this is a good clue that Apple will add an indicator to the App Store in the future, most likely with the public release of iOS 13.

If you want to check it out for yourself, we found the two keywords in the source code for these URLs (Search for “gamecontroller”):

A shout-out to @SteppedSubset58 for helping confirm this story!

You can discuss this in the comments or on reddit. We're interested in what you think.

3 Comments
Discussion

Got a question, feedback or recommendation?
Avg. response time: 20 - 30 minutes


@TigusVaton
last month
I can sum up how I feel about this in 1 word FINALLY!!!

@janoelze staff
last month
It's an open question why the code mentioning the game controller support status is already pushed out to the live app store web pages, but we believe that keeping the changes hidden isn't much of a priority anymore because controller support has been announced as of the keynote. Still, this feature was heavily requested for years, so we think it is noteworthy.

@janoelze staff
last month
Happy to discuss this and any questions in the comments!

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