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Apple to release its own gaming controller, sources say

Sources at a games conference have revealed Apple is holding top secret meetings to discuss its very own games controller.

Ring the bell, it's another Apple rumour, though this one is a little different to most. The Cupertino company is said to be launching its very own games controller, according to PocketGamer.

Apparently Apple has been "very active" during the GDC 2013 -- Game Developers Conference in San Francisco -- and has been chinwagging with many a developer about its plans.

Apple even hired a meeting room at the conference to hold top secret discussions, though it craftily booked it under another name to avoid any media interest. Unlucky, chaps, it'll take more than that to throw us off the scent.

The gaming controller is expected to be announced in April, which is traditionally when a new iPad sashays onto the scene. So it could work in conjunction with a refreshed Apple tablet. Many (myself included) bemoan having to use on-screen controls on a phone or tablet, as it obscures the action. Fair enough -- screens might be getting bigger, but Grand Theft Auto just isn't the same without a proper controller.

The controller could also work with Apple's much-rumoured TV, making it a credible threat to the likes of the Xbox 720 and PS4, as well as the Android-powered Ouya and GameStick.

Apple isn't the only mobile maker to be expanding into controller territory. Samsung launched its own Game Pad alongside the Galaxy S4, and there are a host of third-party rivals for Android and iOS devices. Another developer told PocketGamer that Google will soon announce its own game controller too.

Man, technology moves fast. These smart watches everyone is said to be working on aren't even out yet, and already we're onto the next big thing.

Do you think Apple will launch its own games controller? Does it hint that a standalone Apple TV set is closer than we thought? And can Apple take on the console big boys? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook.