These rumours have been doing the rounds for months now. It has possibly even been a couple of years since the first rumblings that Amazon was set to take on home consoles with an Android powered box. It’s a rumour that seems only about six months younger than the talk of AppleTV taking on gamepad support and allowing apps to function as a home console.
But here it is again, originating at VG247 this time. According to multiple sources, who they do not name, Amazon was set to release the console last year but delayed it and are now eyeing up a 2014 release. It’ll be Android powered and they’ve been secretly chatting up certain developers to get them to add controller support to their tablet apps. It sounds like it might be like an updated Kindle Fire reformatted inside a box into which you plug your own screen.
Given that this month the company has been advertising for staff to help work on a new product that offers Amazon the chance to “deliver Digital Media to customers in new ways and disrupt the current marketplace,” it seems that work continues on the much-rumoured device.
It’s easy to dismiss Android based home consoles, especially after several of the contenders in 2013 didn’t exactly inspire confidence and OUYA seems to lurch from one haze of awkward PR to another. But this one has got much more potential than most. For starters, these rumours suggest a retail price of less than $300. That’s a ridiculous price for an Android based home console but that suggests that it might be something more than the OS shoved in a box with an ageing chip and a supremely uncomfortable controller. It suggests that Amazon might be putting a bit more in the box, and having to charge a bit more for it.
Don’t expect anything that competes with a PS4 or Xbox One but given that Amazon’s existing customer base is massive – all eyeballs on their advertising and trust in their distribution – they’ve got a better chance than almost anyone else at making this kind of box a relative success.