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Hardware push: Google creating smartwatch, game console and new Nexus Q, report says

googleSounds like Google’s R&D workshop is very busy just now, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the Mountain View company is currently working on a number of hardware products “to combat similar devices that Apple may release in the future”.

So what exactly does the Web giant have up its (apparently very long) sleeve? A smartwatch, an Android-based game console and a second version of its Nexus Q media streaming device, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

The report revealed little to nothing in the way of detail regarding the apparent forthcoming hardware, saying only that the Android-powered wrist-based device would have smartphone-like capabilities and connect to a handset via Bluetooth.

However, the claim that Google is developing such a gadget fits nicely with similar reports in recent months – the first in March from the Financial Times which reported rumors of a move into wrist-based tech by Google, and the second in May which came with the discovery of some smartwatch-related patent drawings belonging to the company.

Electronics giant Sony has already has a smartwatch on the market – cleverly called the SmartWatch – the second version of which was released this week. Samsung has admitted it has a high-tech wristwatch in the works, while Apple is rumored to developing one which in February was reported to be “beyond the experimentation stage”. Even Foxconn, Apple’s primary manufacturing partner, appears to be on the verge of launching such a device.

Game console and new Nexus Q

As for the game console, Google is said to be “watching the efforts of Ouya”, a startup that recently launched a $99 Android-based game console.

The Journal also reports that a refreshed Nexus Q is on its way, with the next version of the media streaming device set to be much less expensive than the original, which was withdrawn from the market soon after launch last year for reasons never made entirely clear.

According to the Journal’s source, one of Google’s motivations for pushing into new areas of hardware is to prevent Apple establishing a lead in the market with similar products, as it did with the iPhone and iPad.

Google has already scored a hit with its range of Nexus devices, and is gearing up to launch its much anticipated high-tech Glass specs some time next year.