Casey's shown us the iControlPad already, but it looks like accessory heavyweight Belkin may be getting ready to throw a gaming controller of their own at the iPhone. According to TouchArcade, JoyPod would be a heck of a lot smaller than iControlPad (by covering the top and bottom, non-screen areas of the iPhone), and feature 6 front buttons (8 total), audio out, and a dock pass-through. Most importantly:
Belkin’s involvement certainly suggests that Apple will be building support into the official SDK to allow App Store games to take full advantage of these controllers.
Up until now, of course, gamers have pretty much been limited to accelerometer tilt and multi-touch based gaming on the iPhone using the accelerometer and tap/pinch/swipe screen interface, so no doubt those hungry for more traditional control schemes will welcome this news. However, since we haven't seen anything that suggests Apple support for it in the still upcoming 2.1 firmware, JoyPod may not be landing anytime soon.
And that's assuming Steve Jobs would ever authorize something with that many buttons...