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.