Suddenly it seems like every tech titan wants to be in the game console business. Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have theirs, of course, and Google is supposedly working on one of its own. Apple has at least laid the groundwork. In addition to the big companies, we also have the small upstarts like Ouya and GameStick.
Now we can add Amazon to the pile, at least according to Game Informer’s unnamed sources. The console will reportedly be based on Android, much like Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets, and could arrive by Black Friday:
According to those we spoke with who have knowledge of the in-development hardware, Amazon will be leveraging the titles already available on its platform. Each day, the company offers one productivity or game app for free and stocks a healthy library for its own devices, like the Kindle Fire. The console will also have its own, dedicated controller.
We’ve already heard rumors that Amazon is building a TV box to compete with Apple TV and Roku. If Game Informer’s sources are correct, I’m guessing that games would be part of it, rather than a separate device altogether.
The challenge for Amazon will be to get a solid number of quality games that support a physical game controller. There are a handful already–in fact, a company called Green Throttle Games sells a controller and a special app to play Kindle Fire games through your TV–but for now the selection is tiny.
On the upside, Amazon already has its own gaming service, called GameCircle, which syncs your progress across devices and offers achievements and leaderboards. Being able to start a game on your Kindle Fire and continue playing on your Kindle console could be a great hook for Amazon.
As I said when Ouya was announced last year, it would only be a matter of time before larger tech companies invaded the space. Between Amazon, Google and maybe even Apple, it looks like it might finally be starting to happen.