updated 01:42 pm EST, Tue January 28, 2014
Report claims Amazon demonstrated device to game publishers
Amazon is still looking to sell an Android-based set-top box, a report has claimed. Continuing on from earlier rumors, the device is said to operate as a game console, as well as offering access to various Amazon-owned streaming services such as Prime Instant Video and LoveFilm, with the hardware itself expected to be offered sometime later this year for below $300.
Multiple sources of VG24/7 claim the retailer has met with various game publishers to gauge interest, with a number of popular Android and iOS games apparently being used to demonstrate its capabilities. Its present hardware is said to be a grey oblong with sharp edges, roughly the same size as the redesigned PSone console, and though its internals are unknown, it is believed to have a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor at its core. Under the stewardship of Lab 126, responsible for the design of the Kindle, it is likely to go through more changes before the final hardware and appearance is settled for launch.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
Amazon is also said to be stepping up its gaming efforts by bringing more experienced game developers on-board. A number of job listings on the Amazon Game Studios site list some positions and requirements not typically associated with game development for tablets, with the need for five years or more in the game industry and knowledge of some high-end game engines included in some of the postings.
If Amazon is developing a home console, it has a considerable amount of competition on the market. Aside from the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Microsoft Xbox One consoles, it will more directly compete with other Android game consoles, like the Ouya and the Mojo, as well as media streamers such as the Google Chromecast and Roku. Previous rumors suggest the device could be priced at near or below-cost in order to drive media sales or to encourage the usage of Amazon Instant Video, and in a similar manner to other set-top boxes, Amazon would allow third-party access to the device.