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Amazon’s Android console out 2013 – rumour

Friday, 9th August 2013 05:44 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Rumour has it online mega-retailer Amazon is developing an Android-based console, with plans to launch before the end of this year.

The news comes via GameInformer, which cites anonymous sources.

The sources say the console will have its own dedicated controller, and would be available by Black Friday, the shopping extravaganza during Thanksgiving weekend in the US in November.

The console would tie in with Amazon’s current Android app marketplace, where the retailer offers one free app or game every day for various Android devices.

Games industry super sleuth Superannuation said the rumour surfaced earlier this year.

“Rumour was that the console is not just a set top box with a controller; not far away from release and core-oriented,” they added.

Amazon started its own games development team last year. In a series of tweets and retweets, the investigator said Amazon has been asking developers to implement controller support on Android games; has been hiring widely among the Seattle development community and even poaching Microsoft staff.

Gears of War and Quantum Break executive producer David Holmes joined Amazon, for example, as did ex-Valve veteran Tom Leonard who is currently recruiting “top game development talent” for Amazon (via Superannuation).

One job ad for the studio says its “games span from real-time next gen graphics to pre-rendered assets”.

VentureBeat chimed in to corroborate the rumours, citing one development source for word that Amazon demonstrated a version of the hardware recently as part of its quest for new content for the device.

The site said other sources were uncertain whether Amazon was merely prototyping or whether it genuinely intends to release the console.

Amazon already produces several proprietary Android devices – the Kindle eReaders – and has a solid catalogue of device-specific apps on hand.

If it came to market, an Amazon Android console would rival Ouya – especially if it were open to Android games purchased through Google Play and other sources, which Ouya does not allow.

Twitter links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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21 Comments

  1. dsr

    Just one question.
    WHY?
    Casual gamers don’t need it, they have tablets and facebook games.
    Hardcore gamers don’t need it, they have nextgen consoles and PC.
    Even if its dirt cheap($150), its still a recipe for failure.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. manamana

    ^ Casuals who want to ‘upgrade’ from tablets and socialmedia games and need a cheap controller back into their hands just like the Wii from the olde times which WiiU failed to catch because of the price tag and failed naming…

    #2 1 year ago
  3. DrDamn

    This Christmas would be a crazy time to release it though wouldn’t it? Too much of a hype train for the other boxes. Though presumably this would be a lot cheaper. Next year is the year of outside disruption I think (Apple, Google, Amazon).

    #3 1 year ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    @3

    How much do parents average spending on their kids at Christmas? Is a £429 box (X1) + Live and games (maybe taking the price over £500 easily) even that viable to the average family?

    I don’t know, I have no kids, but I was lucky to get a few games when I was a nipper, and one year a SNES (but that was £149 at the time I think).

    I suppose with the X1, Dad can sell it to the family as an all in 1 media solution…

    But, at the same time, you can get a PS4 & Wii U / Vita or 3DS for the same price or less.

    I guess MS’s thinking on price, that the generation has been so long, plenty of people have had time to save up and are waiting to move on.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. DrDamn

    @4
    Possibly, but while an Amazon console would want to sell to a different audience like all the others it’s going to have to be helped along at launch by core gamers/techies. If they already have an X1/PS4 lined up they are less likely to splurge.

    Kids present maybe, but do you want to be the parent that gets their kid the cheap console? :)

    #5 1 year ago
  6. super3001

    4

    rrp diff xone to ps3.5 is $100.

    sony are broke so rrp=in store price. ms already said they give lots of leeway on rrp. I guess $50

    you can buy ps3.5 + raspberry pi for price of xone. not vita/3ds/wiiu

    #6 1 year ago
  7. monkeygourmet

    @5

    Kids present maybe, but do you want to be the parent that gets their kid the cheap console?

    Exactly! :)

    My parents got me a NES!

    Well, I got a Amstrad GX4000, my Mom thinks i’m cool!

    #7 1 year ago
  8. monkeygourmet

    @6

    PS4 = £349

    Wii U = £149

    = £500

    Xbox 1 = £429

    Plus 1 game = £49

    = £480

    It’s a very similar ballpark and for the former, you get alot more for your money.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. viralshag

    @4/8, I don’t know why you would single out the X1 as the “expensive” gift for Christmas. A PS4, a game, and another control pad will run you around £450 (£400 without the pad but as a family purchase that’s unlikely) too so it’s not exactly a “cheap” option. Yes, it’s “cheaper” but not by much.

    Parents seem more than ok to get the family an expensive iPad and the same goes to millions of other people that buy a tablet. I really don’t understand this thinking of these consoles being THAT EXPENSIVE. Considering what you’re getting and looking at other tech on the market, neither console seems extortionate to me – only one is more expensive than the other.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. super3001

    8

    your math is ass

    add wiiu game and ps3.5 game = + $100.

    drop xone price (as ms have confirmed) ~ $40 to $50

    #10 1 year ago
  11. monkeygourmet

    @9

    It just makes me think of the PS3 launch, I don’t think they have hit that ‘sweet spot’.

    But, yeah, it’s not a huge amount over PS4, and people have had long enough to save up.

    It would be nice if MS offered some freebies with GOLD as Sony have done, Drive Club etc…

    At the moment you could get a PS4 and PS Plus and still have free (rented) games and F2P stuff like Planetside 2 on launch day.

    At the moment, im finding it hard to see the value the X1 is providing over the PS4, as lots of features seem gimped for the UK market (TV etc…).

    Also, the Kinect bumps the price up, but as it stands, there is no pack-in game that takes advantage of it.

    If they had done a package without Kinect for £349 – £379, It would have been a day 1 for me.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. viralshag

    @11, Well also as #10 points out. If you bought a WiiU and a PS4, with a game each that would be an extra £100 so £600 in total. That would be an X1 and three games, I think I can see which has the better value using that logic… So I really don’t understand why you keep posting that combo as if it’s somehow comparable to buying the X1.

    And you only have to look at what Live offers the UK on the 360 now to get an idea of what will come along down the line. It’s just the more expensive of the two and unfortunately that is because of Kinect whether we want it or not. I would prefer a Kinect-less version but that’s not available.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. monkeygourmet

    @12

    I don’t feel it’s far off. £20 extra, not much of a big deal.

    It’s a parallel to the Wii & 360 from last gen, people used to refer to it as the Wii60 as it was a combination that was very close in price to the PS3 at launch, yet you could get 2 consoles.

    The Wii was always seen as the second console.

    I know of one person getting a Wii U, PS4 combo over xmas, so maybe Im biased. It hardly makes it a definate thing, so im prob wrong there.

    I do know that people were a bit shocked at the price of X1 when it was announced though, so there must be something in it.

    Also, I didn’t exclusivly say Wii U, you can insert Vita, 3DS or whatever in it’s place.

    Vita would make more sense.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. super3001

    13

    wrong. count it again.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. monkeygourmet

    @14

    To be fair, I didn’t include games with the bundle I was talking about but did include one with the X1.

    In that sense the price is pretty close.

    Also, you have included a un-announced price drop. Please link me to where I can buy an X1 for £50 less than retail?

    #15 1 year ago
  16. monkeygourmet

    So:

    PS4 + Wii U (no games) = £499

    X1 + 1 game = £478

    Is that better for you?

    #16 1 year ago
  17. viralshag

    @13/16, I just don’t see why anyone would buy a WiiU or any other console when you can get close to three games for a new console instead. The only time I can see that being different is with a well priced PS4/Vita bundle.

    Personally, I see no point in buying two consoles without games. Once you add games on top of any console combo it becomes extremely expensive.

    If a family isn’t willing to spend £430 on one console, I have no idea why they would buy two for equal or more than the same price. The logic of it just doesn’t add up as they’re either willing to spend that money or not.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. monkeygourmet

    @17

    Like I said, I was drawing a parallel to Wii60, but maybe that isn’t a good parallel to draw at launch.

    Still the talk of a PS4 / Vita bundle makes it obvious that people may be tempted for things like this, especially as PS Plus is cross platform.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. monkeygourmet

    Maybe I shouldn’t have brought ‘bundles’ into it.

    Ultimatly what Im saying is:

    “I wonder if MS has the right pricing compared to Sony.”

    IMO they have slightly overshot the sweet spot.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. viralshag

    @19, Well obviously you get “more” with the X1 as (whether you like it or not) you do get the Kinect included with the console. Sony only dropped their camera out of the original bundle to actually beat MS on price.

    That’s good for gamers because you get a cheaper price on the console but then for Sony, if the uptake on the camera isn’t huge it’s potentially a lot of wasted money on a product that might not sell, even though it’s clear they had or have the intention to make it an important feature of the PS4. If it’s not mandatory like the Kinect, devs won’t necessarily feel the need to develop games with features for it, making it potentially even more redundant.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. Stephany Nunneley

    Looks like ex-Valve dev and Source Engine 2 developer Tom Leonard is now Senior Manager of Software Development at Amazon.

    Post updated.

    #21 1 year ago

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