In the grand tradition of surveilling Apple's every patent filing for the tiniest hint about just which earth-denting device Steve Jobs will whip out next, Apple Insider (via Trademork) brings word on: methods to auto-detect game compatibility (to make sure you don't accidentally buy a Nano game for your iPhone?), an automatic online backup, data storage, and update service for already-purchased games (Software Update meets .Mac?), as well as a game rental and/or subscription service (expanding the iTunes Movie Rentals model?).

For those of us playing along at home, this all comes hot on the heels of a trademark application that hopes to push Apple's brand into the larger gaming space, including hand-helds and consoles, and an earlier patent application that covers interface for multi-touch gaming.

With all this, and the SDK dropping this Thursday, could John Carmack's Quake Engine for Mobile OS X be far behind?