Apple has reportedly designed a dedicated gaming controller that it plans to launch at some point in the relatively near future.
Indeed, multiple sources at the 2013 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco apparently told Pocket Gamer that Apple reps have been talking to devs about the company's plans and lining up support to ensure widespread support.
As expected, details on the controller's form factor and launch date are non-existent, although current speculation seems focused on an April iPad or iTV event.
As AppleInsider's Kevin Bostic points out, if Apple's newly rumored controller is unveiled alongside an updated HD or even 4k TV, such an event would largely confirm earlier rumors that Cupertino was ready to transform its "hobby" into something much larger.
"Those rumors had Apple revealing a standard development kit (SDK) and possibly opening the App Store for operation on its set-top box, two elements that would likely be necessary were Apple to release a controller for iOS/Apple TV gaming," Bostic explained.
"Apple's iOS devices have in short time become a major platform for game development, with games from previously unknown developers going on to sell in the millions of copies. The touchscreen form factor of the devices, though, has to some extent kept them from functioning as serious, dedicated gaming platforms."
According to Bostic and others, the introduction of an Apple-specific gaming controller would server to open iOS or Apple TV to a wider span of titles, and could ultimately act to (positively) change the gaming landscape in a relatively short period of time.