Amazon to launch an Android-based console later this year


Microsoft and Sony might think they’re kings of the games consoles world right now, having just launched the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 before Christmas. But though the consoles look great and have tons of awesome new features, the biggest downside if you actually want to own one is the price – The Xbox One retails at a not-insignificant $499.99, while the PS4 will set you back $399.99.

For hard core gamers that won’t matter – they’ll find the money no matter what. But for those whose lives are not 100% dominated by video games, they might be waiting for the price to drop a little, but that could take a few months yet.

So is there a cheaper alternative?

Well, if you’re not in a hurry, and could stand to wait a few more months, you might be interested in Amazon’s new Android console. Yup, you read that right, the retail giant is entering the console wars later this year, if VG247’s sources are to be believed.

According to the blog post, the Amazon console looks similar to the PSOne redesign, grey in colour, oblong in shape and with sharp edges. But that’s the one that game publishers are testing at the moment and the final look will most likely change once it’s ready to go to market.

The Amazon console’s hardware is being designed by Lab126, which also designs the company’s Kindle devices, and will be powered by a Qualcomm MPQ chip. The console will allow Amazon to deliver more content, such as music, film, TV and games, to more people via its subscription-based service Prime, which boasts around 10 million or so subscribers.

Amazon is said to be pricing the console at $300, cheaper than what Microsoft and Sony offers.

Earlier this month, Amazon sent out 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.”  This revolutionary product could very well be the Amazon Android console.

The big question now is, what games will Amazon be offering? There’s a good chance that it’ll be games much like those found on tablets, as the company has been in talks with developers to add controller support for their existing tablet games. There’s also a chance that Amazon could partner up with popular game makers for flagship titles. Another scenario is that Amazon will be developing its own native games for the console as the retail giant is expanding its game development team.

Will this be a success?  If Amazon does launch a console this year, it could potentially disrupt the gaming community, especially if it can get its hands on some of this year’s top games titles.