It’s not really this big secret that Amazon is building a set-top box. It’s a logical progression from building their own media-streaming slabs to trying to fight with Roku, Apple, and Sony for dominance of the television screen. And apparently Amazon believes part of the way to your living room is through Android games.
Game Informer has a piece of the story, but apparently lacks the analyst chops to put the obvious together:
According to those we spoke with who have knowledge of the in-development hardware, Amazon will be leveraging the titles already available on its platform. Each day, the company offers one productivity or game app for free and stocks a healthy library for its own devices, like the Kindle Fire. The console will also have its own, dedicated controller.
Can Amazon use Android games to give it a leg up on the competition for streaming video in your home? Honestly? No, probably not.
Essentially this isn’t much different from the NVidia Shield or the Ouya in this respect. Few Android games are built with a controller in mind, because that’s not how people play them; they use a touchscreen. One of the biggest problems in translating mobile games to television screens is that any properly developed mobile game, let alone the games worth playing, don’t have gamepad support.
It’s true that Amazon can throw large amounts of money at this problem, and it will help that iOS now has controller support. In fact, Amazon is likely adding this not as a feature so much as a defensive measure; while the received wisdom that Apple just has to add a controller to the Apple TV and suddenly that device will sell like hotcakes is clearly wrong, that’s not stopping tech companies from panicking about it.
That said, there’s going to have to be a lot more to make this attractive, especially since it will likely be shackled to Amazon’s miserable software ecosystem. But, hey, at least there’s more gaming options; that’s always good.
I want more like this!
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