updated 02:18 pm EST, Tue January 28, 2014
May back rumors of impending refresh
(Updated with possible new hardware features) The Apple TV now has its own separate section at Apple's online store, checks show. Until today, the Apple TV had been categorized as an iPod-related accessory. The new section in fact lists its own set of accessories, including HDMI cables and AirPort routers.
The change coincides with rumors that Apple is planning to support games and Bluetooth controllers. That would likely require new hardware, and turn the Apple TV into a much more important device, which might explain the need to reorganize the online Apple store. At the same time, Apple might simply be looking to spur sales through better promotion.
Update: 9to5Mac says it has heard that Apple has been testing a variety of hardware options, including integrating the Apple TV and the AirPort Express, giving the former its own 802.11ac router. That could potentially improve reliability, since Apple TVs are often streaming video from routers in distant rooms. It's also believed that game support might involve using iOS devices as controllers, even if dedicated controllers are supported as well.
Apple has reportedly been testing some prototypes with built-in TV tuners, which would let the set-top control existing cable boxes and the like with an Apple-designed interface. It's not clear, however, if any of the tested technologies will make it into shipping products.