Razer Kishi
No, this isn't the rumoured Apple hybrid console, but a Razer Kishi controller bolted to an iPhone — Image: Razer

Just in case you hadn't noticed, Apple is a pretty massive company right now. The firm's revenue for 2020 was a staggering $274.5 billion, and it is believed that there are currently 1.65 billion Apple products in active use across the world.

It's surprising, then, that beyond the ill-fated Apple Pippin console – a collaboration with Japanese company Bandai from the early '90s which crashed and burned spectacularly – the Cupertino-based firm hasn't made any serious inroads into the world of video game hardware. Sure, it has interest on the software side of things – Apple Arcade being the latest attempt to tempt gamers over to its products – but Apple seems curiously reluctant to fully enter the video game hardware arena.

However, if a new rumour coming out of Korea is to be believe, that's about to change. Korean forum Clien is the source of this one, with a post stating that Apple is working on a 'hybrid console' like the Switch which will be powered by a new 'system-on-a-chip' that is not part of Apple's A or M-Series. The chip will apparently showcase "enhanced GPU performance and ray tracing support" and Ubisoft is one of the firms being consulted on its development.

The problem here is that the post doesn't cite any source for this information. However, that didn't stop the rumour from circulating and gaining credence:

However, sites like TechRadar – who are far more knowledgeable on this kind of thing than us – have poured cold water on this particular rumour. As we've already established, Apple has historically not been all that interested in gaming hardware and instead prefers to use gaming software to entice customers to purchase other Apple products – such as the iPhone, iPad or Mac.

While the notion of a company as huge as Apple entering the gaming market might be exciting and call to mind the hardware wars of the '90s, there's little reason to believe that the firm would take the massive financial risk involved. If a company like Sony can't beat Nintendo in the portable sector and a firm like Microsoft doesn't even bother trying, why would Apple even attempt such a venture?

Apple Bandai Pippin
Apple has tried entering the games hardware realm before with the Pippin, but it was a commercial flop — Image: Jason Scott

Sure, it's possible that Apple is working on a new SoC which offers a huge gaming boost, but that doesn't mean it's actually going to go into production; the firm's M1X or M2 chipsets (intended for a future MacBook Pro model) could end up supplying a similar jump when it comes to gaming visuals, so any new SoC might not be required anyway.

We're happy to file this one under "highly unlikely", but stranger things have happened in the games industry. Let us know what you think of this rumour by posting a comment below.

[source wccftech.com]