Apple's mobile gaming thrust will likely spill over into the hardcore gaming sphere following the rumoured October release date of the iPad Mini 2 and the regular-size iPad 5, a new report said.
Apple is looking into the possibility of competing head-on with leading gaming console manufacturers like Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, which manufacture the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 and the Wii U.
The tech giant, according to Gotta Be Mobile, is aggressively encouraging the production of third-party game controllers that fit well with its next generation iOS 7 devices, with emphasis on the 7.9-inch iPad Mini and the 9.7-inch iPad.
Apple recently provided the necessary production guidelines for these gaming tools, the same report said, with explicit instructions that the general design must work across the board with all iOS devices, the upcoming iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 including.
While developers need to come up with 'Gamepad Profiles' that basically adhere to Apple's devices, they are given enough leeway to design the controllers based on the gaming functions.
For instance, games like car-racing and gun showdowns will require gamepads with buttons that are similar to that of the Xbox and PS4. But for most of the game titles available on App Store, which are for casual gamers, the focus is touch-based controls.
The core functions of these companion gaming tools for iPads and iPhone are to complement the devices' touch and sensor components, the GBM report said.
This new development suggests that Apple is expanding its horizon and looking into the gaming industry that has been grappling with steady slump, triggered largely by the advent of mobile gaming devices that the tech giant itself has introduced.
While not directly competing with console manufacturers, Apple will likely offer the iPad Mini and the iPad as alternatives not only for casual gamers but also for those still hooked with high-end gaming experience that stand-alone consoles offer.
By allowing the use of separate gaming tools for its tablet lines, the tech titan is courting the possibility of reinvigorating an industry that has the potential to generate billions in revenue.
Reports have suggested that Apple will start releasing its new iPad models by fall this year, beginning with the iPad 5 and to be followed shortly by an affordable edition of the iPad Mini plus of another build of the compact slate with Retina.