Not content to let Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft eat up all the profits of the 80 billion dollar games industry, web giant Google is currently working to enter the fray. According to an article published in The Wall Street Journal, the company is in development of an Android-based game console. There’s no word yet on when the device might release, but sources have stated that Google is attempting to spread their widely used Android software beyond smartphones and tablets.
What’s even more intriguing however, is the stated possibility that the company may be striving to combat a similar device that Apple will be releasing in the future. While it’s extensively speculated that both Google and Apple are planning to release wearable wristwatches in the coming months, this is the first official mention of a branded gaming device from either corporation.
Currently, the Kickstarter-funded OUYA [shown above] is the only mainstream console to make use of Android technology. With an affordable MSRP of $99, the device has almost literally been flying off store shelves. Hours after its official launch, the console had already sold out on Amazon. As it turns out, this supports countless reports showing that Android-based games are quickly gaining popularity, and are growing at a faster rate than their console counterparts.
All of this news comes as the web giant is beginning to wrap up its in-house development of the next iteration of Android. Lately, the company has focused its efforts on tailoring the software to lower-end smartphones and tablets. This approach is widely-believed to be part of an attempt to firm up the software’s international market-share, as these lower-end devices are much more prevalent in developing nations. With that it mind, it’s more than possible that Google may be attempting to bring their Android-based gaming console to a veraciously global audience.
Google’s head of Android, Sundar Pichai, recently stated that more than 900 million devices powered by Android had been activated worldwide. This number is up from 400 million in 2012, and 100 million in 2011.
Will Android pave the way for an internationally-minded future for the gaming industry? Only time will tell, but for now, feel free to sound off in the comments.
Boston-based writer, artist, designer, critic, loser & storyteller. Focused on the intersection of games, culture, narrative, and art. KillerStrokes on XBL, Steam, PSN. @Wherbit on Twitter. http://willpowerarts.com/