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Amazon’s Android console to launch this year priced below $300

Tuesday, 28th January 2014 09:32 GMT By Matt Martin

Retail giant Amazon will launch a dedicated games and entertainment device this year priced below $300.

Amazon_Bezos_Kindle

Running the Android operating system, the system will compete directly with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, offering the streaming and download of games, music, movies and TV content, multiple sources have told VG247.

Senior publishing sources have been meeting with Amazon for a briefing on the hardware – which currently goes by a number of different codenames – and popular Android and iOS games have been used to demo the device.

The unit being shown to publishers at this point is said to be roughly the same size as the PSone redesign, grey in colour, oblong in shape and with sharp edges. However, the pre-production unit is likely to have a full makeover before any official release.

The hardware is being created in conjunction with subsidiary Lab 126, designers of Amazon’s Kindle devices.

Amazon will target an affordable price point – we’re told below $300 in the US – in a pricing move similar to Amazon’s marketing of the Kindle Fire HD against high-end iPad hardware from Apple.

The company already has a significant digital entertainment business covering the sale, rental and delivery of music, film, TV and games, as well as hardware success with the Kindle and Kindle Fire HD. The new console is designed as a central point in the living room to group all of those services together and make use of the home TV screen.

As well as competition for the big three console makers, the system will take on microconsoles like the Ouya or Gamestick that have so far failed to capture an audience outside of hobbyist markets.

The difference for Amazon is that it already has an active customer base of 200 million people along with their payment details, 10 million of which are said to subscribe to the $79-a-month Prime Service. Some analysts expect Prime numbers to grow at 5 million per year.

Earlier this month Amazon sent invites to a recruitment event in Boston for “a new revolutionary V1 [Version 1] product that will allow us to deliver Digital Media to customers in new ways and disrupt the current marketplace.”

The most suitable games for the console are likely to be similar to those currently taking tablet devices by storm, where companies such as Rovio, Supercell, King and Kabam are forging ahead in the free-to-play business with a combination of accessible gameplay and high marketing spend.

But Amazon is also heavily recruiting across its games development team, with many positions requiring extensive knowledge in triple-A games across production, art, tech and design roles.

VG247 understands that the Android console was due to launch last year but was delayed at the last minute and is now expected in 2014.

According to this TechCrunch report the console will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. Last year Gamasutra suggested Amazon had been courting US developers and suggesting they add controller support to future tablet games.

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9 Comments

  1. OmegaSlayer

    I think that too much competition kills everything.
    If you spread content on too many systems you mess it up.
    No matter the quality.
    People won’t buy all the machines, they’ll just stick to an average of 2.
    Sony, Nintendo (with handhelds too), Microsoft, Steam machines, PC, Android, iOS gaming.
    Even for developers is better to focus on 2/3 devices and not spread themselves, boosting their development budgets.
    I’m good with a 3 way competition, more is overkill and most of all it doesn’t grant quality.
    Look at how many iOS and Android devices are out there and how few ORIGINAL titles (not ports) have actual quality and how many are just a chore to play because of silly controls.

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Dragon

    Not surprising. Amazon was pushing the devs towards this for months.
    Now is a good time for Sony to launch PsVita TV, since it would take Amazon quite a while to get good games except mobile ones, while Vita already has a ready made library of 100s of games.

    #2 8 months ago
  3. Dan

    The problem I had with Ouya is the controller. I backed 200$ for the project and spent around 15$ on the games after I received the console. One moth later, I sold the console. I couldn’t stand the controller…
    Let’s hope that Amazon console comes with a decent controller.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. Hyperx64

    Mmmmmh, another plastic box full of cheap chips? Maybe.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. BlockheadBrown

    $79-a-YEAR, not month.

    #5 8 months ago
  6. Un-HolyMOTHERofGOD

    Will they also be competing with those 500$ steam machines? I can tell you right now, if Valve manages to bring more games to Linux, then I will probably be picking up CyberPower’s steam machine or the SBX machine. As soon as I find a decent comparison of the two and their specs I will make a decision on which one to buy. But I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy one of them.

    #6 8 months ago
  7. boiled lobster

    It seems Amazon are trying to take another stab at iPad with an updated (and rebranded) Kindle.

    #7 8 months ago
  8. stalepie

    @Dragon I agree, or at least a newer model of the Vita that can hook up to the TV (or the ability to play PSP and Vita games on the PS4).

    @OmegaSlayer agree with that too. Will be interesting to see if the old names in the biz can stay alive with competition from Amazon, Apple, Google, etc.

    #8 8 months ago
  9. Gheritt White

    Well I never.

    #9 8 months ago

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