Rumor has it that Apple is quietly tinkering with a new device dedicated to making gaming easier on iOS devices. During their 2012 iPad review, AnandTech mentioned:
I know of an internal Apple project to bring a physical controller to market, but whether or not it will ever see the light of day remains to be seen. As smartphones and tablets come close to equalling the performance of current game consoles, I feel like the controller problem must be addressed.
The best third-party attempt at hardware remotes dedicated to mobile that I've seen to date is Zeemote. but if Apple ends up providing native Bluetooth connection support for standard game controllers like the PS3's, it may circumvent the need for Apple to make anything themselves. Personally, I think the Wii remote would be best suited for the job, at least from a style standpoint.
Apple is most definitely targeting gaming consoles with the new iPad, so the possibility isn't too far-out. Still, any game which makes use of AirPlay basically turns the iOS device into a controller while the image is beamed to your TV. If this Apple project actually comes to fruition, I worry that it will be some bastardized version of the Apple TV remote that isn't remotely ergonomic like the mock-up above, but until we get some more fuel for this rumour, that's not something we have to worry about for the immediate future. Besides that, who knows if it will be used with iOS, or will just be another Apple TV peripheral.
Gamers, how much are you hurting for an Apple-approved dedicated controller? Are touchscreen controls good enough for you as they are?