There are some very interesting rumours doing the rounds about Apple developing a hybrid games console. According to the grapevine, and stemming initially from Hong Kong-based sources, Apple is developing a Nintendo Switch-alike console. If such a prospect isn't tantalising enough, the whispers indicate that the console will be based upon a completely new SoC family (not the A- or M- Apple Silicon series) with a high performance GPU which features ray tracing support.
Apple developed a games console way back in the 90s, a famous flop dubbed the Apple Pippin, made with the collaboration of Bandai. After that confrontation with the reality of the games hardware market, Apple seems to have steered clear, and stayed firmly in its lane of content creation for Macs, and consumption / light duty creation for its iDevices. Now perhaps the games market is such a sparkling jewel that Apple cannot help to covet it. Does it need something more than Apple Arcade to do so? If the headlining rumours are correct, then yes.
Much more recently there were rumours of an Apple TV on the way that would boast a powerful contemporary SoC, but such a beast hasn't moved from dev testing to mainstream distribution. Another touted project that failed to materialise was the gaming Mac design set for 2020.
The latest rumours suggest that Apple wants to offer something above and beyond the scope of its Arcade offering to break out from the casual gaming mould. One of the key partnerships that will help toward this ambition is claimed to be Ubisoft, a publisher behind many popular AAA PC and console games. The rumours say that Ubisoft is just one of the famous gaming names being courted by Apple.
It is well known that Apple is currently fighting in court with games industry stalwart Epic Games – the company behind the Unreal Engine, Fortnite, and of course the Epic Games Store – a venture it seems to be using to boost game developer revenue share against the interests of the likes of Apple, Google, Valve etc.
Remember to take the above with a pinch of salt. Even if Apple is toying with plans to enter the hybrid console market, and making prototypes, the products might never make it to market.