Apple game console rumored for 2012 launch

"Kinect-like video game console" reportedly the reason for Apple CEO visiting Valve headquarters last week, could integrate Valve's Steam Box project.

Apple could be getting back into the console game market with a helping hand from Valve, according to a report on Cult of Mac.

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The Apple-focused news site followed up reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook visited the Bellevue, Washington, headquarters of Valve last week with an explanation for the executive's trip. According to Cult of Mac sources, Apple is preparing a TV set for release later this year that "will come with an Apple-branded, Kinect-like video game console." According to the site, the system will rely on motion and touch controls, possibly through a touch screen remote that will come with the TV.

The news follows rumors of Valve's entry into the hardware market. Last week, the developer posted job listings for an electronics engineer to join its hardware team, which is creating "whole new gaming experiences." The company has also said it is investigating the field of wearable computing and augmented reality.

Neither Apple nor Valve returned requests for comment as of press time.

This would not be Apple's first attempt at cracking the game console space. The company teamed with Bandai in 1995 to launch Pippin, a multimedia console based on the Macintosh operating system that also allowed users to access the Internet. The system flopped, selling just 12,000 units in the US before Bandai pulled the plug on it.