Amazon famously began releasing a forked version of Android on their Kindle Fire tablets which tie heavily into their own eco-system back in 2011, while Australia, along with 191 other countries have only just begun getting access to the tablets we may also see something else from them by years end with Game Informer citing sources as saying that Amazon is looking to release an Android based gaming console by the end of the year.
Amazon are apparently trying to launch the console during the ‘Black Friday’ sales in the US. The Black Friday sales, which traditionally launch the ‘Holiday’ shopping season in the US, falls on the Friday following Thanksgiving, which this year is the 29th of November.
The console will have a dedicated controller and will of course have access to the wide range of Android titles already available through the Amazon App Store, where Amazon has previously launched titles exclusively before their rollout to a wider audience on Google Play. This precedence of ‘exclusive’ launches could stand them in good stead in the hard to enter gaming console industry.
The most famous Android gaming console to date, the Kickstarter phenomenon known as Ouya, has shown pretty decent sales so far in the US. But it’s been the development and openness of the platform that has seen the modding community embrace the Ouya in particular with its ability to side-load APKs as well as run emulators.
We have unfortunately not yet seen a wider rollout internationally of the Ouya but we await further developments, but if Amazon can leverage their already established global reach they could certainly overtake the incumbent in the gaming arena quite quickly.
Google was also rumoured to be looking at entering the gaming console arena recently in a report by the Wall Street Journal, although how much of that was misconstrued is debateable with the release of the Chromecast, especially if Google can run their Google Play Gaming service as a cloud based system that could be streamed directly to the dongle.
Certainly interesting developments in the Android gaming arena, and with OpenGL ES3.0 being released in Android 4.3, it seems that Google definitely wants to up their game(ha) with both availability and development of games on Android to at least match or hopefully beat that of iOS.
Would you be interested in an Amazon produced gaming console? Would it have to have other features?