Amazon readying Android console

Written by David Hing

August 12, 2013 // 7:59 a.m.

Tags: #amazon #android #console #rumour

Online retailing giant Amazon is rumoured to be readying its own Android console for release by the end of the year.

Anonymous sources talking to Game Informer state that the console will have its own dedicated controller and is likely to be released by Black Friday.

The system will use Amazon's own highly successful app store that is already used by the Kindle Fire tablet. The app store offers up a different paid app for free every day, a feature which the console will also be able to access.

Although Amazon has refused to confirm or deny the rumour, it is definitely interested in the video game market. Earlier this year it launched a digital distribution platform for indie titles on PC and Mac, designed to not just sell the games but to try and help them reach a broader audience through the use of an "indie spotlight" feature on the site.

Rumours that Google were developing a similar console did the rounds a couple of months ago with speculation that Google's plans were allegedly to rival an expected console release from Apple as part of its next Apple TV product.

The Amazon console would join a growing number of other Android consoles in the market. The notorious Kickstarter-funded Ouya has been the first of its kind out of the gate, though it has received mixed reviews. The $99 price point has proved attractive but the major criticism has been a lack of games to draw in players. Being an open source system however has made it an attractive device for the emulation scene.

The Nvidia Shield, another Android console, also saw its release at the end of last month and like the Ouya has received a mixed critical reception. The $300 handheld console faces criticism that the system is too pricey considering its lack of games.

Last week, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250m. He claims however that he has bought this in a personal capacity as opposed to rolling the publication into Amazon.

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