Online retail giant Amazon is said to be working on a game console device for debut later this year. The new rumor comes courtesy of Game Informer, which cites sources said to be familiar with the in-development hardware. The device would likely be less in the vein of hard-core gaming consoles like Sony's PlayStation 4 or Microsoft's Xbox One, instead competing with Android gaming devices such as the Ouya.
Reports on the device have it likely ready for release by the end of this year, and likely in time for Black Friday. If Amazon were to leverage its existing stable of gaming, entertainment, and productivity titles for the device, that would likely mean that it would run on the same forked version of Google's Android operating system as the retailer's Kindle Fire devices. According to Game Informer, the console will have its own dedicated controller.
Such a device would likely help Amazon further popularize the services end of its operations. Amazon's online retail outlet is successful, and its Kindle Fire devices are popular among consumers. Amazon's online video service, though, lags far behind both Netflix and Apple's iTunes in terms of market share in the segment. A presumably Internet-connected console, then, would Give Amazon a way to popularize that service and to grow its video and music offerings as revenue generators.
Reportedly, Amazon is working on the device at Lab126, the Cupertino-based hardware division that developed the Kindle. Details on the pricing of the device are as yet unavailable, though securities analyst Michael Pachter has suggested that the retailer could give away the hardware to its Amazon Prime subscribers.