Please note: All views and opinions are those of @AlphaFoxWarfare and do not reflect those of the entire team.

At WWDC 2019, Apple announced that iOS 13, iPadOS, and tvOS 13 would all be getting support for both DualShock 4 and Xbox One controllers so instantly the crowd starting roaring, including myself here at home. It was so out of left field since Apple required MFi compatible controllers for YEARS but that finally seems to change. So I downloaded the developer beta for iOS 13, iPadOS, and tvOS 13 to give it all a shot and see how they fair across all platforms.

Setting everything up was stupidly easy. All you have to do is hold the PlayStation and Share buttons for a few seconds until it starts blinking and then go into Bluetooth settings to pair it, it’ll show up like this once paired:

DualShock 4 showing up in my Bluetooth settings

So, I started playing some games. First, I started with iOS. I launched the PlayStation Remote Play app and tried out Binding of Isaac, Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, and Trover Saves the Universe. While it is absolutely amazing to play these games with the controllers they were made for, the streaming delay made everything less than…. ideal. Moving to native titles like Minecraft and Fortnite though worked like a beast. All of the games were responsive as if they were literally instant. You will notice that some games only have the classic A, B, X, Y controllers since they aren’t updated to take advance of the DualShock controller so potentially in the future things will become more seamless.

The Binding of Issac: Afterbirth+ via Remote Play on iOS

Using iOS emulators like GBA4iOS work like a dream. Playing classic games like Advance Wars and Pokemon have no issues at all which I was afraid about since most games already have problems with MFi controllers.

Moving over to tvOS, it is a little worse. Games like Shadowgun Legends replace the Cross/A button with the Options button since things aren’t mapped correctly. On top of it, there does seem to be more of a delay compared to iOS devices. This could be because Apple TV 4K is older than my iPad Pro 2018 and iPhone XS Max, so it has a worse chip. The cool thing about tvOS though is the entire UI can be used with controllers, not just games. The Apple TV can even be shut down and can have apps closed from the DualShock 4. Unfortunately, the Home button acts as a TV button, not as a Menu button so it is extra difficult to work around.

So, with a good amount of issues, why the hell does this excite me for the future, you may ask. Well, this is just beta software. It has literally been out for a single day so nobody has even had time to even optimize their games for either the DualShock 4 or the Xbox One controller. So it can only go up from here, not to mention over 100 games will support these controllers with the release of Apple Arcade, Apple’s On-Demand game service. And they are absolutely going all in, between spending half a billion on exclusives and adding the 2 biggest controllers in the world breaking away from MFi, it is clear Apple wants to make their devices even more gaming focused.

Plus, when PlayStation Now was announced, Sony Interactive Entertainment mentioned that they wanted to bring their service to mobile so we can look forward to using our DualShocks for that. Furthermore, Xbox xCloud is also coming to mobile, even Valve has Steam Link on iOS and tvOS so you could stream your PC games to your favorite devices.

So, how does macOS also loop into this? Well, Project Catalyst. What is that, you may ask? Well, Project Catalyst is something Apple has been working on to take iPadOS apps and bring them to macOS 10.15 Catalina with ease. Gameloft was able to get Asphalt 9 running quickly and even Twitter is coming back to macOS thanks to how easy it is to manage all games at once. So essentially, developers have to build a single game, and it’ll scale across iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and macOS with ease. Controllers were already supported on macOS so that is already taken care of, so now we just need the games (a perfect example of this in action is Apple Arcade titles, all use Project Catalyst on macOS).

The future of both iOS, tvOS, and macOS is insanely bright. With super scaleable apps alongside the support of the biggest controllers in the industry, we can expect much more incoming than we previously would’ve seen with no controller support.

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