Exclusive: Apple will launch an official gaming joypad soon
Secret revealed as it opens up to devs at GDC
Of course, there's no official word yet, but Apple has been active during the conference talking to developers about its plans and ensuring plenty of games will support the joypad at launch.
It's been operating a meeting room at the show, albeit booked under a pseudonym company name to avoid media attention.
However, speaking anonymously, multiple developer sources have confirmed the news to PocketGamer.biz.
In the hand
It's expected Apple will formally announce its plans during its annual April press event; previously this has been centred around the iPad.
Many things remain unknown, though.
None of our contacts had seen or held the physical device so we don't know if the pad will take a conventional approach or employ a radical new design.
Following recent mishaps, Apple doesn't let unreleased hardware leave its closely guarded offices.
Neither are we sure when the pad will be released.
It would be logical for it to hit retail alongside a new iPad, but given the opportunities a dedicated controller would provide in the living room, we'd expect it to be part of a large announcement also revealing Apple's wide TV strategy, including a direct assault on the console businesses of Sony and Microsoft.
Everybody plays the joypad game
The news follows on from an explosion in third-party controllers from iOS and Android devices during 2012.
This has come from dedicated peripheral companies like MOGA and Nyko, as well as start ups such as Green Throttle, and even unconsole players like Ouya and GameStick, for whom a physical controller is a vital part of their plans to disrupt the console business.
Another example of the important of a game pad to big business was Samsung's surprise announcement of its Game Pad at the Galaxy S4 launch.
And to complete the picture, one developer source also told us that Google will be making its own announcement about an official game controller in the near future too.
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