Support for DualShock, DualSense, and XBSX controllers is improving.
Because of its tiny screen, the iPhone is better suited to basic touch games. The iPad, on the other hand, may serve as an excellent mobile gaming station, whether streaming games from Stadia, utilising Remote Play, or playing them natively. Controller support is important for this style of game. Apple has fallen short in this area, but things are looking up with the incoming iOS 15.
In May, Apple released iOS14.5, which included compatibility for the PlayStation 5’s DualSense and Xbox Series X|S controllers. It also increased capabilities to incorporate the Share buttons on the new controllers and the DualShock 4 controller (Xbox One does not have a share button). Previously, pressing Share accomplished nothing; now, it operates the same way it does on the PS4, PS5, or XBSX.
During one of its WWDC 2021 sessions, Apple explained how it works. A quick press saves a screenshot to the camera roll. A long press starts recording gameplay, with a second long press stopping it and sending the video to the camera roll. Of course, this is great when you know what you want to record, like a boss battle. But what about those times you may wish to capture something unexpected, like a funny fail or skillful maneuver?
Sony solved this by continuously rolling a 15-minute reel of gameplay. Players wanting to save something just hit the share button, trim the 15 minutes down to what they need, then save or share it on social media.
Apple is bringing a similar functionality to iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. However, it reduced the video buffer to 15 seconds because of storage limitations. Granted, it’s not quite as versatile as Sony’s solution, but we’re dealing with limited hardware, so the developers had to make concessions.
Once the feature goes live in iOS and iPadOS 15 this fall, there will be a toggle in Settings to switch between regular recording and “Replay Capture.” A long-press saves the last 15 seconds of gameplay when set to the latter. Developers will also have an API they can call to trigger Replay Capture from within their games if they wish.
Apple also included tools that enable developers to leverage the DualSense controller’s adaptive trigger technology. It merely takes a few lines of code to make the shoulder buttons respond with varying resistance. Developers that wish to use the functionality in their current games can do so with a short patch.
Making console controllers work as expected by gamers is critical, and the experience has fallen short in previous iOS editions. So it’s encouraging to see Apple taking the effort to improve current Sony and Microsoft controllers.
Image credit: Miguel Lagoa