Anonymous sources say Amazon may release an Android console into a crowded, untested market
Game Informer is reporting today that Amazon is planning to release an Android-based video game console. Citing sources who “have knowledge of the in-development hardware” the console will ship later this year, potentially on Black Friday.
The console will reportedly leverage the games that Amazon already has available on other platforms like Kindle and Facebook. The report also says that the company plans to give away one productivity or video game app a day for free and will come with a dedicated controller.
Android consoles have become extremely popular targets for manufacturers looking to get into the video game business these days. The Ouya and Nvidia Shield have already been released while others like the GameStick, and Mad Catz' M.O.J.O. are planned for the future. Beyond that there are all manner of Android-based tablets in the works or already released.
Google is also rumored to be planning its own Android gaming console, and Apple has long been rumored to be planning an iOS-based foray into gaming through Apple TV.
The report from Game Informer comes from sources who apparently contacted Game Informer directly, which of course raises a lot of questions about the source's motivations. GamesBeat wrote today that they have independently heard rumors of the console prior to the story breaking. However, they've also heard from sources who aren't sure if Amazon is serious about this endeavor.
One of the main pieces of evidence in favor of the purported game console's existence is that Amazon has reportedly been beefing up its staff of game developers. However, that alone means very little. They could very well be creating games for other platforms or working on the rumored Amazon Android smartphone.
Amazon, like most companies of that size, has many secret projects in the works, and not all of them necessarily come to market.
At this point, it's not easy to see why Amazon would be ready to rush into the market right away. The Ouya has already released and isn't exactly having the best time. There's little to no evidence the market for a small, inexpensive Android console exists, much less is ready to support multiple products.