Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - During its WWDC keynote, Apple announced that the next version of tvOS and, therefore, Apple TV will include support for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game controllers.

Now it has emerged that the company's set-top box won't be the only device to gain compatibility; iPhone and iPad will support the DualShock 4 and Xbox controller too.

That change is coming with iOS 13 and the all-new iPadOS for Apple's tablets, both expected to be released via over-the-air upgrades around September time, when the new iPhone 11 handsets are unveiled.

What's more, we have also learned in the aftermath of the keynote that both controllers will work with Apple devices wirelessly, over Bluetooth. That wasn't mentioned nor clear at the time.

Now, some might be wondering why this is such a big deal - after all, other Bluetooth/MFi controllers work with iOS and tvOS already. But, this new compatibility isn't just so you can play Real Racing 3 with a better-made joypad. It can be seen as a marker for Apple's gaming ambitions and, specifically, how it intends to partner with both PlayStation and Xbox in future.

Apple Arcade on its way

To begin with, it has its own gaming subscription service on the horizon, in the shape of Apple Arcade.

Apple Arcade will provide access to more than 100 "new and exclusive" games available across all Apple devices for one monthly fee. Like the new operating systems, it is launching "later this year" and wouldn't it be handy to have the two best game controllers on the market available to use with it?

PlayStation Remote Play already available

Then you have PlayStation Remote Play, which launched for iOS devices in March this year. It enables iPhone and iPad users to play PS4 games on their mobile devices, streamed from their console located in the same home. Game video is streamed over the home network while control codes are sent in the other direction.

Latency is excellent, so it's an ideal way to play on your PS4 without impacting on the rest of the family's TV viewing. At least, it would be if there was support for the PS4's controller... hmmmm...

xCloud to be supported?

Finally, and perhaps most significantly, Microsoft is about to lift the lid fully on its cloud gaming system Project xCloud.

Expected to be the beating heart of Xbox's E3 2019 press conference, xCloud will be a subscription service where you can play 100s of console and PC-quality games on multiple devices for just one monthly fee. And, as all the games are stored and managed in the cloud, you won't have long downloads or waiting times to jump in and play.

Apple has, in the past, turned away other third-party cloud gaming services, as they have beached its app guidelines in one form or another. But, the fact that it is adding Xbox One controller support in such timely fashion could be a good indicator that Microsoft's solution has finally ticked the right boxes.

It certainly makes sense that Apple would want to support one such platform when major rival Google is about to launch its own, in the form of Stadia.

So, that's three strong reasons why Xbox One and PS4 DualShock 4 controller connectivity will soon be added across Apple devices. There could be others too.

One thing's for sure though, the days of trying to swipe and tap your way to victory across a greasy touchscreen are numbered.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 4 June 2019.