Via what must be link bait at Polygon:
From Draw Something to Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja to Cut the Rope, the biggest names in mobile gaming got that way because they used the touchscreen in novel ways. The lack of physical buttons isn’t a hindrance to game design, it’s a feature that smart developers have been using to their benefit for years. The developer of Ridiculous Fishing, a game which won an Apple Design award for 2013, didn’t worry about not being able to use buttons; they created a game that used the hardware in fun ways. link
Author Ben Kuchera makes a great point by ignoring the obvious: there’s countless games that would tremendously benefit from the ability to use a physical controller. Ok, I get that Kuchera is saying maybe ports like GTA San Andreas, and countless platformers, arcade, and first person shooters shouldn’t be on the platform in the first place, or their developers should come up with some innovative control scheme to play them. But all of them would probably play better with a controller with physical buttons, game screen real estate would be dramatically improved, the games would be more fun to play, more people would play them, more games would move over to the App Store (from other platforms i.e. Steam, XBox Arcade), Apple would make more money, and that’s probably why Apple released a framework so that people could add “physical buttons” to their iDevice, which I assume Kuchera knows, but for some reason has forgotten for his twitter provoking post.
It’s not that I don’t love to play games like the Room 2, Device 6, or Ridiculous Fishing, because I do. They’re incredibly fun, engaging, and perfectly suited for the iPhone. And for the moment, it’s not like there’s a controller out there that’s even remotely tempting, especially for $100. If, however, I could somehow automagically pair my Xbox or Playstation controller with my iPad mini, I’d immediately have 5 or so games on my iPad right now (let’s see, Oceanhorn, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA SA, XCOM, Deus EX, etc.) that would be more fun to play, and I’d be looking into redownloading a whole heap of games that previously didn’t work so well because their touch controls just didn’t cut it. Maybe Kuchera just plays Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja and that’s fine, but lets not pretend that iOS gamers by choice or by circumstance (kids and teenagers with an iDevice, for example), or the games they play, couldn’t benefit from a controller, even if that controller hasn’t been perfectly realized yet.