Apple revamps Game Center, controller support in iOS 14, tvOS 14, macOS Big Sur
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Apple has revamped its Game Center platform with a new dashboard and other features alongside other game-related improvements across its 2020 software updates.
Game Center, which first debuted in 2010, has long been one of Apple's lesser-known features. In 2016, Apple even killed off the Game Center app in iOS 10, leaving the platform as a behind-the-scenes framework for connecting multiplayer gamers.
But iOS 14, macOS Big Sur and tvOS 14 introduce a slew of new features and capabilities to the platform. Apple detailed many of those changes in a WWDC video session, and shared others in its human interface guidelines.
For example, there's a new Game Center dashboard that developers on iOS, macOS and tvOS can add to their platforms. That dashboard lets users easily see leaderboards, achievements and profiles within game apps and the new Game Center pane in Settings.
There are deeper social components to the updated feature, including an option for users to see which Apple Arcade titles their friends are playing and a new leaderboard with recurring game rankings.
Apple has also added support for new game controllers, including the Xbox Elite 2 and Adaptive, and new features like custom button mapping and rumble feedback for existing controllers.
Although the spotlight of attention hasn't been on Game Center in a while, Apple appears to be steadily pushing toward bolstering its mobile gaming ecosystem. During WWDC 2020, for example, it's held no less than seven sessions about games and game development.
The rise of mobile gaming over the past few years have pushed Apple to one of the largest gaming companies globally. This all comes as iPhones and iPads become much more capable gaming devices in their own rights.