Amazon reportedly preparing to launch $300 Android gaming console

Amazon Prime Interface

Online seller Amazon is preparing to launch a device dedicated to gaming and entertainment, according to VG247. The system will reportedly run on an Android operating system and retail for around $300.

The device is currently being shown to publishers, and it is small in design, about the same size as the PSone. The final design may change though, and there are currently several codenames being batted around. The hardware itself is being designed by Lab 126, the group that designed the Kindle Fire.

The device would likely be similar to the Kindle in several ways, especially in how Amazon’s tablet is connected to its ecosystem. The new device would be designed for the living room and connect directly to a TV, and Amazon Prime members – of which there are over 10 million paying $79 per year – would be able to stream thousands of video titles. Non-members would be able to purchase content a la carte in the same way that users without a subscription who use the Amazon Instant Video app can on devices like the Xbox 360, other consoles, and selected devices.

The games themselves would likely be drawn from the Amazon “Apps for Android” library. Amazon currently lists nearly 50,000 Android game apps, ranging in price from free to $15. With Amazon throwing its weight behind the system, there would likely be several games coming exclusively for the console as well.

The system will reportedly be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, and Amazon is said to be in talks with U.S. developers. If the processor report proves accurate, Amazon’s device will be comparable in power to microconsoles like Ouya and GameStick, but it would have a heavier emphasis on non-gaming content than its competitors. 

At $300, Amazon has an uphill battle ahead of it. The Ouya did manage to sell out on Amazon, but the device itself failed to impress most customers and it is $200 less than the reported price of Amazon’s device. Amazon does have the advantage of already having an established library of media and games though.

Expect to hear more about this in the weeks and months to come.  

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