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Summary:

Amazon has reportedly shown senior game publisher executives a version of its Android-based game console, which could launch later this year.

Amazon stage

Amazon’s next big hardware play could be an Android-powered game console: The company has recently been meeting with game publishers to get titles for the device, according to a report from VG24/7 (hat tip to Engadget). This comes after earlier reports indicated that Amazon was considering to release a game console, a TV streaming device, or both.

VG24/7 is reporting that Amazon showed senior publishing executives a first version of the device, which was about the size of Sony’s refreshed PSone and “grey in colour, oblong in shape and with sharp edges.” The design of the device could still change considerably, but it looks like Amazon may be getting ready to launch the device this year.

The site also quotes a price of less than $300, which seems awfully high, unless Amazon was able to get high-profile titles that appeal to hardcore gamers and actually compete with Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, or integrate other features not available elsewhere (4K video, anyone?). Still, it seems much more likely that Amazon would build a lower priced, Ouya-like console that features casual gameplay and integrates with its Prime Instant video subscription service.

There have been many signs over the years about Amazon’s desire to launch a device for the living room. Back in 2012, I noted that Amazon had hired a number of people from Logitech’s failed Google TV venture, and a number of reports in the following months indicated that Amazon is looking to sell a Roku-like streaming device.

The company has publicly kept mum on its plans, but recently added fuel to the fire by inviting developers to a recruiting event that promised “a new revolutionary V1 product that will allow us to deliver digital media to customers in new ways and disrupt the current marketplace.” The invitation helpfully added: “We believe this new product will be even bigger than (the) Kindle!”

  1. This is DoA as Nvidia already released the similarly priced Android Shield. The cool thing about the shield is streaming games from my computer directly.

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