Google rumoured to be working on an Android games console

28 Jun 2013

Sources claim Google intends to enter the video-game market with an Android-powered console, while rumours of a plethora of Android devices in development abound.

The Wall Street Journal cites “people familiar with the matter” who say Google is pre-empting competition from rival Apple on such devices in future.

But the real competition Google faces in the gaming market comes from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. Nintendo released the new Wii U last year, though it sold only 3m units in its first quarter, while both Sony and Microsoft will release their next-generation consoles later this year.

An Android-powered games console was already set to earn success for Ouya, whose US$99 device went on sale this week. However, the Kickstarter-funded system has failed to impress a number of gamers used to high-powered systems like Xbox and PlayStation.

Smartwatch and Nexus Q rumours

Google is also said to be working on an Android smartwatch that will connect to users’ smartphones via Bluetooth. The tech giant has already positioned itself as somewhat of a pioneer in the wearable tech market with the limited release of Google Glass Explorer Edition, and a Glass product for the general public is expected next year.

The Wall Street Journal’s sources also claim that a second-generation Nexus Q is in development. This media-streaming orb was first unveiled at I/O 2012, but not much fuss has been made of it since and a public release never transpired.

More to come from Android

At least one of these rumoured devices will arrive this autumn, the unnamed sources claim, while Google has declined to comment on the matter.

The next version of Android is also expected this autumn, and sources say this will be optimised for low-cost smartphones. This would be a clever move if the IDC-spotted trend of significant growth in this segment of the market continues.

These ‘people in the know’ tell us to expect an array of Android-powered devices in our future, from laptops by HP and wearable tech from other OEMs to computer systems in cars and appliances, such as refrigerators.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic