An Apple patent that details methods for physical controllers, including one that looks suspiciously like Sony's Dualshock design, to connect to iOS devices has surfaced.

The controllers and devices communicate via RFID or near-field communication (NFC). NFC is what enables functions like Android phones' Google Wallet, and isn't available in the current generation of i-Devices.

But the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch are due for an upgrade, aren't they? And with NFC functionality, it looks like Apple already has the groundwork to launch a physical controller paired with their next wave of iOS gadgets.

The patent also allows for NFC connections with other devices in the home, so this might not be just for gaming. As always with a patent, though, this isn't necessarily happening. We can dream, though.

How would iOS gaming change if a controller became standard? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter.

[via Kotaku]