A new report claims the Cupertino-based tech giant received a new patent that could transform the iPhone into a handheld game console

Apple recently obtained another patent; this one is for a snap-on game controller and keyboard accessories for the iPhone. The patent further describes accessories that would instantly turn the iPhone into a more modular device with a wide range of uses.

Apple snap-on iPhone game controller

A look at Apple’s snap-on game controller

The physical gamepad would include action buttons, D-pads, analog joysticks, a QWERTY keyboard, an additional camera, microphone units, and a trackpad. The patent also offers wireless multiplayer gaming capabilities utilizing similar accessory hardware. This gamepad would instantly turn the iPhone into a handheld game console much like the Sony Vita or Nintendo 3DS line.

The proposed setup also involves ad-hoc or point-to-point connectivity with either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, making it much more in line with game console creators.

Apple snap-on iPhone game controller

Apple may not use the patents for the iPhone

The other accessories discussed in the patent include variations of provisions for adding more storage and creating additional user profiles and video-out capabilities. Unfortunately, it’s not likely that people will see the patents mentioned above as first-party products from Apple. These patents originally date back to 2008, so Apple has had a lot of time to work on the designs and perfect the patents.

Apple does sell accessories when a potential market is significant. The tech giant usually taps third-party companies to make accessories for specific niches.

Apple snap-on iPhone game controller

It’s highly unlikely this new patent will prove to be anything more than optional accessories if it even reaches beyond the current stage. Apple receives a lot of patents. However, many of the filings never make it to a finished product.

Gaming-related patents should help give Apple a strong boost in the mobile gaming market. Although many game console makers like Sony and Microsoft continue to see strong sales in the ever-changing industry, Apple is seen as a formidable competitor as it continues to attract casual gamers.

Apple snap-on iPhone game controller