updated 06:05 pm EDT, Mon May 17, 2010
Amazon wants major Kindle games, new hires
Amazon has been talking to game developers to support a new version of the Kindle, leaks from the bookseller pointed out on Monday. The publishers weren't named but would be providing titles in sync with the new e-reader. Amazon hasn't commented on the NYT claims.
A campaign of the sort both hints at Amazon getting closer to a third generation of the Kindle but also an increasing commitment to the Kindle as a platform for more than books. It recently launched an app SDK and began adding games to the Kindle's firmware along with social networking features, but the existence of a non-touch, grayscale e-paper display has largely ruled out certain kinds of apps, particularly fast-moving games or video.
Much of Amazon's recent strategy for the Kindle hardware and firmware 2010 has appeared to be in direct reaction to Apple's iPad, which is widely seen as its its largest threat in sheer volume. In addition to apps, it recently bought TouchCo to add multi-touch input like that of its rival but has been recruiting those with experience with LCDs and Wi-Fi, both of which are taken for granted on the iPad and in some cases other existing e-readers.
Amazon may be nearing the completion of its next Kindle as a recent spate of job postings at its Lab126 hardware division have targeted late-stage development, such as positions for QA engineers and software development test engineers. The six-inch reader was last upgraded in February 2009 and has continued to be a strong seller, but it now faces competition not only from Apple but from Barnes & Noble and relatively smaller players like iRex and Spring Design.