While phone manufacturers will adamantly insist that the touchscreens on their devices are absolutely perfect for handheld gaming, they all know deep down that one needs a gaming controller if one is to fully enjoy the more advanced games that have begun coming out on smartphones.
The controller is clearly just used as an example, but the idea behind the technology seems to be that NFC-enabled controllers could be paired with iDevices so that gamers can play more potentially fiddly games such as Shadowgun or Max Payne with the same fluidity they would get on a home console.
Another feature to be revealed in the patent is the ability to turn your iPhone into a simple games controller using NFC. The picture shows the iPhone screen displaying what looks like an old-fashioned NES controller, which can presumably be used to play games on Apple TV, Macs, or other paired devices.
Whether this will see the light of day is uncertain, but it reveals that better functionality for gaming on smartphones is at the forefront of phone manufacturers’ minds.