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Is Amazon Making a Sub-$300 Console To Play Mobile Games?

samzenpus posted about 8 months ago | from the play-time dept.

Media 76

itwbennett writes "Yesterday, a story suggesting that Amazon was planning to launch a sub-$300 Android game console made the rounds. A $300 box to play mobile games on your TV? ITworld's Peter Smith doesn't buy it. 'If Amazon is working on some kind of set-top box, it's going to be about streaming,' says Smith. 'Music, video, and games. Remember back in November when Amazon announced G2, a new AWS instance type designed for streaming GPU intensive tasks like games? Combine Amazon's G2 cloud servers and an Amazon set top box for console-like game streaming, plus supporting Android and/or iOS games (possibly the latter would also be streamed), and of course support for Amazon Video and MP3, and we're getting closer to something that may be worth $300.'"

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No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46106803)

Question in headline = NO.

Is Betteridge's law of headlines correct? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107071)

Question in headline = NO.

Re:Is Betteridge's law of headlines correct? (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 8 months ago | (#46107817)

No.

The Journalistic principle existed long before Betteridge mentioned it, so it's incorrect to name it Betteridge's law of headlines :P

Re:No. (3, Funny)

narcc (412956) | about 8 months ago | (#46108081)

Is Betteridge's law of headlines true? Click to find out!

Re:No. (3, Funny)

Bugamn (1769722) | about 8 months ago | (#46110133)

Betteridge's paradox?

Great, another Ouya (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 8 months ago | (#46106807)

A console for Android games?? What a clever and original idea!

Welcome to the future of the console. (3, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46107041)

A console for Android games?? What a clever and original idea!

I said, before the Ouya was released that it would not be a smashing success, but it will be a success and well it was. A minor success.

I also said it would pave the way for future consoles based on the same idea making the Ouya a version 1.0 type of product and for a version 1.0 the Ouya did pretty well.

The majority of console buyers don't want a PC wannabe console because they're not PC gamers. They want a simple box they can turn on and play simple games on, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. The Xbox 1 or PS4 dont fill this market and the Wii U has been pretty underwhelming. So if Amazon can pull of a decent console (like they did with their ereader) then they could own the market in the same way the Wii did.

In fact, I'd be quite surprised if Amazon is the only company going to try this.

Between this and Steamboxen, the Playstation and Xbox will need to change radically to avoid fading into oblivion, both the casual and hardcore gamer will soon have better options and there are not enough hardened fanboys in either camp to sustain them.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | about 8 months ago | (#46107309)

There's still potential for the Ouya 1.0, the Tegra 3 chip it uses has been demonstrated (by nVidia) to be perfectly capable of game streaming. [google.com]

So if steam machines pick up, with proper support, the Ouya 1.0s could easily become the streaming machines of choice.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (1)

citizenr (871508) | about 8 months ago | (#46107371)

There's still potential for the Ouya 1.0, the Tegra 3 chip it uses has been demonstrated (by nVidia) to be perfectly capable of game streaming. [google.com]

You mean like $30 Chromecast? Or any random $25-35 Chinese miracast dongle?

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 8 months ago | (#46107925)

Which don't include a gamepad, add $20-30.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (0)

non0score (890022) | about 8 months ago | (#46107405)

I think the "casual gamer living room" is a myth. Just like the Nintendo Wii and the 0.5 games it sold per console sale.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (3, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | about 8 months ago | (#46107471)

Thee Wii actually had a software attach ratio of between 9 and 12 depending on how you count certain games (some people don't count Wii Sports because it was bundled with the hardware, but it was only bundled in certain territories, similarly for Wii Play which was bundled with a controller, or Wii Fit which was bundled with the balance board).

The PS3 and 360 had ratios between 9 and 11.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (0)

non0score (890022) | about 8 months ago | (#46107531)

Lolwut? Did they make a lot of good first party games? Last I heard (a year or two ago), devs were complaining how bad sales on the Wii were.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (1)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 8 months ago | (#46110589)

Xbox 360 10.76, PS3 9.77, Wii 9.06
source: http://www.vgchartz.com/analys... [vgchartz.com]

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 8 months ago | (#46109681)

The people behind the Ouya said they thought there was a market for people that wanted to play casual games, but on their TV, so they would have that group or family experience. But I think they're wrong. Casual gamers seem more than happy with their phones and tablets. Not too long ago, casual gamers didn't have a choice, really - they either played on their computer or in front of their TV.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 8 months ago | (#46107483)

A console for Android games?? What a clever and original idea!

I said, before the Ouya was released that it would not be a smashing success, but it will be a success and well it was. A minor success.

Is this Bizarro world? The Ouya was a massive failure in terms of both hardware and software figures. They released it in a broken state (the controls are trash) and there were no damned games worth playing on it. On the off chance someone wanted to play your crappy mobile game on their TV, they'd just pirate it anyway because lol Android.

They're chasing a market that doesn't exist, and they're going to double down with the 2.0 model which will allegedly have working controls and even more of a lack of worthwhile games.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107799)

The controls really aren't bad, a lot like an XBox 360 controller with a touchpad... Which comes in handy when in a browser or Android apps as a mouse substitute. It can run most Android games as well as 500 Ouya-specific games. Some are very cheesy, casual indie games, but there are some great professional titles too. The best value is that all the games are free to try, many of them free outright. I use mine for emulators quite a bit. The main issue I have is that it has an underpowered CPU and GPU, but enough to be a lot of fun and more often played than my XBox 360, Wii, and other consoles. It's not for everyone, and there isn't much for hardcore gamer titles, but it's been a blast to own. Add to that the fact you can plug in USB or use bluetooth controllers, mice, etc., and it's the best $99 I ever spent on a new console.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46109081)

You don't understand the Slashdot definition of success.
 
If it's an Android/Linux product it's a success if you don't burn your house down with it and the creators aren't homeless bums after the release. If it's Microsoft or Apple it's a massive failure even if they post great profits and increased marketshare because the icons aren't spiffy or they don't have a little penguin as a mascot.
 
Welcome to Slashdot, where MS or Apple could ride on their current offerings for the next two decades and still be a success if they were both held up to the same standard as Android and Linux.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 8 months ago | (#46109037)

The big problem with the Ouya was not the idea but the execution. It wasn't that good and had a small store. If Amazon can get not have the controller lag that is an issue with the Ouya they could have a good gaming console. The new Tegra from nVidia is a pretty powerful chip and will be good enough for a lot of games.

Re:Welcome to the future of the console. (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#46110147)

The majority of console buyers don't want a PC wannabe console because they're not PC gamers. They want a simple box they can turn on and play simple games on, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. The Xbox 1 or PS4 dont fill this market

Who says? IMHO, console gamers ARE PC gamers, they just prefer a different location and form factor, and have some differences in preferred games. But for most games, it's the same stuff.

The casuals that the Wii targeted are happy playing games on their phones/tablets...that they already have.

Between this and Steamboxen, the Playstation and Xbox will need to change radically to avoid fading into oblivion, both the casual and hardcore gamer will soon have better options

What better options? both this and the Steam machines are vapor till they are actually on the shelf.

Can I play Skyrim or TESO on this or the Steambox....without streaming it from a PC running Windows? Diablo 3/Reaper of Souls?

Welcome to the future of 'content delivery' (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 8 months ago | (#46111473)

I think it's about music, movies, Amazon original programming **AND** games.

It's like a xbox Marketplace only Amazon.

Amazon is really jealous of Netflix's success, they've really pushed their original programming on the Amazon Prime.

It's weird that Amazon is producing TV shows....weirder: a few of them are actually really great.

Re:Great, another Ouya (1)

afgam28 (48611) | about 8 months ago | (#46107331)

I like how you narrowed in on the form factor and operating system, and assumed that no other details are important enough that they could be used to differentiate. You know, little details like how Amazon has this whole business of streaming digital content, how it has the huge financial resources to produce content and market the device. Stuff that Ouya doesn't have.

But no....maybe you're right - it's a console and it runs an operating based on Android. So therefore it's going to be exactly the same.

Re:Great, another Ouya (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#46110169)

You know, little details like how Amazon has this whole business of streaming digital content,

Which is already available on consoles. I can already use the MP3 store and Amazon instant Video on the consoles I currently have.

Re:Great, another Ouya (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 8 months ago | (#46108585)

This "iPod" is a pocketable player for MP3s you say? What a clever and original idea! *slyly references Nomad in the title*

You're kinda missing the wood for the trees here. There were plenty of Android tablets before the Kindle Fire. I believe there were even a few liquid paper eBook readers before the regular Kindle. And even if we ignore the fact that Amazon actually made popular versions of what were obscure geek toys, in truth there's no reason why Amazon has to be "original", it just has to be successful.

All of which said, I don't believe the story for a couple of reasons:

1. Amazon wouldn't limit it to being a games console.
2. Amazon wouldn't charge $300 for it either. If a rumor about a new Apple iWidget makes the rounds, and the rumored price is $500, chances are it'll be $600. If a rumor about a new Amazon KindleWidget makes the rounds, and the rumored price is $300, chances are it'll be $200.

Not really (5, Insightful)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 8 months ago | (#46106815)

A $50 Roku or $60 Blue Ray player can already stream Amazon content fine. Heck, even a Kindle Fire has a micro-HDMI cable.

$300 for an Android game console would be nuts, but it would actually make a lot more sense than a $300 streaming device.

$100 for an Amazon version of the Ouya would be kind of cool.

Re:Not really (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 8 months ago | (#46106941)

Why can't it do both?

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107023)

I'm sure a gaming console would also do streaming, yeah. But Amazon won't sell it as a streaming device that also happens to have a game controller...

Re:Not really (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 8 months ago | (#46107193)

> $100 for an Amazon version of the Ouya would be kind of cool.

I agree, but the hardware is kind useless without software. The one thing Balmer got right is you need developers to write great software for your hardware.

With today's market ...

You need open hardware
You need an open OS
You need an open SDK
You need to court indies (to get as many games as possible)

Otherwise the industry is too entrenched into the existing infrastructure of consoles and mobile.

Re:Not really (2)

non0score (890022) | about 8 months ago | (#46107421)

I would agree with 2 out of the 4: open SDK and courting indies. I'm a dev, and yhy the hell do I care about open OS or open hardware? I'm not going to make my own hardware, and neither am I going to ask my customers to install custom OSes (which means the OS has to be full-featured and bug-free before I support said platform). Game developers need ways to make money (most likely just to put food on the table), not to fulfill some ideological desire.

Re:Not really (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 8 months ago | (#46150201)

Believe it or not, the issue is actually more then some obscure ideological desire. Let me explain ...

With closed hardware it costs a FORTUNE to get all the bugs out. By using cheap commodity off-the-shelf hardware you can save
  a) debugging time), and
  b) get something that just works.
Wait, you mean don't like tossing out thousands of units due to some design flaw? :-)

With a closed OS how many man-years will you pay to make it
  a) secure, and
  b) write drivers?

Again an open OS is "good enough". You are leveraging the rest of the "community". So there can be significant financial savings by going the open hardware + software route.

--
"Only cowards censor"

Re:Not really (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 8 months ago | (#46107311)

A $50 Roku or $60 Blue Ray player can already stream Amazon content fine.

A $35 Chromecast has all the hardware needed to do exactly the same thing.

Actually, a Chromecast, an Amazon AWS virtual instance, and some software to tie it together would make a fair game console, *if* they could get the latency low enough. (You'd need to add a low-latency back channel to send local controller inputs back to the server; so make it a $50 Chromcast2). Might not be possible *yet*, but you can bet they are thinking about it.

Re:Not really (1)

Dorianny (1847922) | about 8 months ago | (#46107347)

A $50 Roku or $60 Blue Ray player can already stream Amazon content fine. Heck, even a Kindle Fire has a micro-HDMI cable.

$300 for an Android game console would be nuts, but it would actually make a lot more sense than a $300 streaming device.

$100 for an Amazon version of the Ouya would be kind of cool.

Exactly why Amazon doesn't won't to release another media streaming box. Amazon is in the content selling business, what it wants to do is create the center of the living room version of the kindle, of course with so many cheap devices that can stream content it needs to do something else to differentiate itself in the saturated market.

Enter cheap gaming console. Hardware has gotten pretty cheap and unlike previous generation consoles neither the PS4 nor the Xbox 1 are heavily subsidized. Considering that the Amazon box won't be coming to the market for a while its quite likely that it can offer similar performance at the price point its looking to sell it at. If that's the case than I suspect there will be quite some interest from traditional console game developers looking to sell their products without having to pay the steep Sony/Microsoft licensing fees. It could quite literally kill their business model really. Very exciting, I hope its not just wishful thinking on my part

Re:Not really (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46108615)

$100 for an Amazon version of the Ouya would be kind of cool.

The problem is, there is no evidence that anyone can deliver a game console that doesn't suck for $100. Ouya couldn't manage it, for example.

Mad Catz MOJO is $250, I believe. That's an Android STB with decent hardware. Costs too much to even think about buying. For $250 I could buy a refurb'd Nexus 7, a MHL cable, and a bluetooth controller.

Watch out for Amazon Games (1, Interesting)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 8 months ago | (#46106885)

I just had an interview with Amazon Games, and the one thing they're dangerous about is that they have deep pockets. They only have one game so far. But if they pick a strategy that works for a company with capital, they can do all sorts of cool things. Then again, maybe they won't get any direction at all, and just be like a polished indie developer for smart phones. I pitched them the whole "Corner the market on any random game with player driven content made from friendly UI toolkits" I didn't get the job, but they said they might be interested again after my next game is launched.

I'm writing a video game [throneandcrown.com] now that is like Adventure or a 2d Zelda, except that you can't get stuck on quests. My plan was to eventually port to tablets, and let people hook a PS3 controller to the thing with the option of plugging it into their TV. Android Tablets/IPad becoming the next big console system is no joke. It has a lot ontop of OUYA because OUYA had crappy controllers and no games. Also an Android Tablet has use outside of just being a console, but they're vastly more powerful than SNES so they're no joke.

Re:Watch out for Amazon Games (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 8 months ago | (#46108873)

PS3 controller support, sadly, is a joke. It's very spotty and dominates bluetooth while in use. Android controller support in general is still a minefield. Google needs to do some serious work to rectify this situation if they want Android to dominate gaming. Ouya sure didn't help with their own wonky controller API.

$300 seems an odd target... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#46106891)

Between the state of CPUs you can buy and the presence of a massive supply of used and new-old-stock last gen consoles, $300 seems like about the weirdest place to postulate an unconventional console launch.

Once you cut the expensive multitouch IPS panel and battery out of the equation, you'd be hard pressed to spend $300 on a 'mobile' derived system. The SoCs just don't cost that much, and they are extremely heavily integrated because they are supposed to go in phones and tablets and things. Something like the Ouya, and the absurd number of more or less anonymous Android HDMI sticks from the pacific rim cut things a little close to come in under $100; but an extra $50-$100 still leaves you at or below $200, and gives you a great deal of room for improvement. At the same time, $300 is a hard target to hit with 'full PC' derived systems, unless they've had several generations of cost reduction (as we can see from MS and Sony and how long it took them to break even at that price point, after they eventually cut down to it). It's just an odd number.

If Amazon wants a 'Kindle Couch', $300 is silly high, given the very very strong odds that it would be a screenless or screen-reduced variant on a relatively cheap mobile design. If the rumor alleges that Amazon is gunning for the AAA console space, months after the two main players and the hapless runner up have already played, that just strains credulity.

Re:$300 seems an odd target... (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 8 months ago | (#46107113)

Between the state of CPUs you can buy and the presence of a massive supply of used and new-old-stock last gen consoles, $300 seems like about the weirdest place to postulate an unconventional console launch.

$300 at launch,
$200 in 12 months,
$150 not long after that.

Besides this, Amazon seem to be going to after the console crowd rather than the phone crowd. This means they'll need some kind of controller, UI/Frontend designed for a console and a bunch of other things. It's not like you can just slap Android onto screenless HW and expect it to work as intended.

Re:$300 seems an odd target... (2)

Dahamma (304068) | about 8 months ago | (#46107253)

$300 *is* pointless for an Android console (especially if as you say they are going after the console crowd) when you can add $100 to what you said and get the PS4 price curve.

And I don't understand why people keep saying "but Android consoles will have simple games that people want". Making games *simpler* seems like the worst barrier to entry I've ever heard of. If Sony and Microsoft expand their online stores and make "simple" games easier to develop/publish on their consoles, then they will be a complete superset with the additional ability to play discs and AAA titles.

Re:$300 seems an odd target... (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 8 months ago | (#46110237)

If Sony and Microsoft expand their online stores and make "simple" games easier to develop/publish on their consoles,

They already did that! There are tons of "little games" on PSN.

http://www.playstationlifestyl... [playstationlifestyle.net]

Re:$300 seems an odd target... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 8 months ago | (#46114223)

It's a start - but they have a couple thousand (and most of those are PSOne/PS2/PSP "classics") compared to over 100k on Android and an absurd number on iOS.

Currently it's still orders of magnitude more difficult and expensive to get a game published on PS or Xbox - even the "simple" ones. Basically, most indies can't afford to make a console their first platform because of the price. They have to strike it rich (relatively speaking) on iOS/Android, and then they have the means to expand to consoles...

Re:$300 seems an odd target... (1)

unrtst (777550) | about 8 months ago | (#46111795)

$300 *is* pointless for an Android console (especially if as you say they are going after the console crowd) when you can add $100 to what you said and get the PS4 price curve.

I wouldn't be so quick to judge the price point. There are a lot of features that, if done right, would not only make it worth it, but would make it something that doesn't exist today... and something I really really want.

One of the features that all the current streaming boxes/sticks are missing is a dedicated control interface, separate from the TV itself.
I'm know I'm in a very small minority here - my primary TV is a projector. If I want to turn on some tunes, I don't want to have my 100" display fired up wasting bulb life, lots of power, and displaying nothing of real value. My phone, while home, is usually in the kitchen charging; My computer is locked when not using it; My laptop is put usually put away... using one of those to manage a media device is awkward and inconvenient (at least as its primary means of management).

Same thing goes for TV/movies... If I just want to see what's on, I don't want to fire up everything. If there was just a little screen next to the TV, or on the entertainment stand, or on the end table, etc.. then I could use that while other stuff is or isn't running. For example, even when the projector is on, it's usually doing something already - watching a show or movie - so I don't want to switch inputs to something else just to look around for something to stream.

Speaking of streaming... why are almost all of the current devices so horribly limited? Many don't allow you to stream from other devices on your own home network. If they do, they usually require DLNA, and only DLNA. Why can't they support CIFS/SMB/NFS/etc? For example, the PS3 has WAY more than enough horsepower to be a simple mp3 jukebox, but the interface is absolute garbage for any collection more than a handful of cd's. Amazon could EASILY fix this (as could just about anyone... but if they did it right, it'd certainly make their product a LOT more valuable in my eyes).

Now add in games... who's to say this thing won't have some real guts behind it? A high end video card and some nice controllers, and they'd be able to stage themselves for some serious titles. Speaking of controllers... the current consoles only ship with ONE, and adding a new one is another $50-$60. They could break that mold as well. They could also allow any android or iphone device to act as a controller (for most titles at least), which is something no one else is doing (as far as I'm aware).

And then there's all the other comments that have been posted - Amazon has music and video content and distribution already, and a giant network and more servers at their disposal than any other console maker, and those new VM's targeted at exposing graphics... there's plenty there to offer, and a solid foundation to plug into.

Point is, there's plenty that could make this worth the price tag. It's all speculation until some real information comes out. My guts says this leak is just testing the waters. This will probably be used more as a threat to the existing consoles (ie. open up your console to us, or we'll make our own) than something they'll actually produce... but if they actually make something, I expect it to have a mix of features that don't exist right now (outside of build it yourself).

Re:$300 seems an odd target... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 8 months ago | (#46113309)

One of the features that all the current streaming boxes/sticks are missing is a dedicated control interface, separate from the TV itself.
I'm know I'm in a very small minority here - my primary TV is a projector. If I want to turn on some tunes, I don't want to have my 100" display fired up wasting bulb life, lots of power, and displaying nothing of real value. My phone, while home, is usually in the kitchen charging

Actually, this is already doable with any Airplay capable device (not just AppleTV & Airport, but *many* cheap receivers, etc now) + iPhone/iPad/iPod. Or if you prefer Android devices, Chomecast + any Android phone/tablet. Why would you need a $300 "game" console to solve this when a $35 Chromecast will do it?

Same thing goes for TV/movies... If I just want to see what's on, I don't want to fire up everything. If there was just a little screen next to the TV, or on the entertainment stand, or on the end table, etc..

Um, yeah, they have those, too, they are called tablets ;) And both Xbox One and PS4 now have "companion" apps (Smartglass, PS Companion, whatever) to do this. Same with the previously mentioned Chromecast, that's exactly how it works (i.e. no controls to the TV, you use a mobile device or computer).

Speaking of streaming... why are almost all of the current devices so horribly limited? Many don't allow you to stream from other devices on your own home network. If they do, they usually require DLNA, and only DLNA. Why can't they support CIFS/SMB/NFS/etc? For example, the PS3 has WAY more than enough horsepower to be a simple mp3 jukebox, but the interface is absolute garbage for any collection more than a handful of cc's.

Because it doesn't really benefit Sony. It's a huge niche. They just won't sell enough extra consoles to make it worthwhile. And the trend it getting away from giant media jukeboxes in the home, anyway. Not to say a tiny minority doesn't use them, but when you sell 50M+ consoles they just don't move the bottom line.

Now add in games... who's to say this thing won't have some real guts behind it? A high end video card and some nice controllers, and they'd be able to stage themselves for some serious titles.

Then it has become a full-fledged console. Sony and Microsoft have sunk MANY BILLIONS of dollars down that insanely expensive console business trying to get traction. The point of a basic "mobile game console" is it will be dirt cheap and play simple games using the existing Android (or Amazon) app store. No way Amazon is going to shell out the billions necessary to compete head to head with MS, Sony, and Nintendo on the "big consoles"

Anyway, my guess is if it does happen it's going to be in the $100-$150 range. There is no display or capacitive touch, which are most of the cost of tablets - and you can get full Android tablets for $150 these days.

Focus-navigable Android applications (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46107271)

It's not like you can just slap Android onto screenless HW and expect it to work as intended.

"Screenless"? A game console has an HDMI output. Or did you mean "touch screenless"? Android has always had support for input events from up, down, left, right, and activate keys [android.com] . These may be discrete keys on the device, a trackball, or the arrow keys and Enter on a Bluetooth keyboard. I imagine that a directional pad and primary button could generate these events, which would let the user use any focus-navigable [android.com] application.

In addition, Android 4.4 on my Nexus 7 tablet supports a USB mouse through an OTG adapter. I guess in applications that don't specifically request controller mode, a Fire OS for set-top boxes could make the left stick move the mouse pointer and the right stick act as the scroll wheel.

Re:$300 seems an odd target... (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#46108053)

I'm not saying that it would necessarily be trivial; just that they don't have much choice. As of a few minutes ago, when I checked, I could get an Xbox360 (250GB HDD, 1 controller, Halo 4, and Tomb Raider) for $250 or the nasty cut-down 4GB-of-flash version for $200. All with the advantage of a large, guaranteed (and typically available used for peanuts, since it's a last-gen system) game library.

Unless Amazon is seriously stealth-launching a tier 1 console, without so much as a ripple from the various studios and devs who they'd need to build games for such a beast, they'll be laughed out of the market if they try something at the same price as an incumbent console.

Re:$300 seems an odd target... (1)

c (8461) | about 8 months ago | (#46108907)

If Amazon wants a 'Kindle Couch', $300 is silly high, given the very very strong odds that it would be a screenless or screen-reduced variant on a relatively cheap mobile design.

How about $300 for a Kindle tablet integrated with a decent HDMI media dock? Functionally, something like a Nexus 7 plus charging dock and a Chromecast (which, coincidentally, totals about as close to $300 as my caffeine deprived brain wants to count at the moment), but with Amazon integration and maybe a little more hardware polish.

Sounds too expensive for a mobile game device. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 8 months ago | (#46106927)

Nearly $300 for a game console, playing mobile games? Sounds really expensive.

That's the price of a fairly high-end Android handset - maybe not today's model, but certainly half year ago models that are "outdated" for the fashionable crowd. Those happily connect to a TV playing HD video, and can play all but maybe the absolute latest, highest-end games available on the Android market.

A console certainly should be a lot cheaper. No need for GSM radio or GPS receiver. No need for (expensive!) display on the device itself. No need for a battery. No need to squeeze it all in a tiny package. A sub-$150 price sounds more like it.

I hope not (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46106935)

The market for streaming media boxes is pretty saturated. Even if this box has the added capabilities of playing Andriod games and streaming AAA titles like OnLive, the device would still not be worth $300 dollars.

Um, what? (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 8 months ago | (#46106979)

I have a HDMI out on my LG P990, and it's a few years old. It wasn't a big deal then and it isn't now.

mobile games (1)

issicus (2031176) | about 8 months ago | (#46106981)

taking the mobile out of mobile games. smart. how about amazon makes it so I can plug my kindle fire into my tv instead of this bs.

Feels like the 90s all over again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46106991)

With all of these new players trying to jump into the console business, it feels like the 90s again with the 3DO, Jaguar, Turbographix, PC Engine.

Re:Feels like the 90s all over again (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 8 months ago | (#46110743)

I remember being so psyched for the Jaguar. It promised a great comeback for the once-legendary Atari brand, claimed 64-bit power, and had great demo games like Alien vs. Predator.

What we actually *got* was...well...not so much.

Amazon needs to be broken up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107005)

Amazon has to be broken up. They are too big and have too much power.

They assume bandwidth in non-US countries... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107009)

In other countries, the local telcos actually bother to lay fiber. Here in the US, with net neutrality stuck down as completely dead, bandwidth will only get more expensive over time unless one is lucky enough to get Google Fiber.

So, assuming everyone is going to stream can be a stupid way to go, especially in areas where people will be paying $10/gig in bandwidth for their land-based Internet, much less cellular stuff.

Is /. making every story headline a question? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107039)

Is /. making every story headline a question?

If so the answer to these questions will always be no.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B... [wikipedia.org]

Deja vu (2)

Horshu (2754893) | about 8 months ago | (#46107049)

I feel like I'm reliving the 80s, where every electronics manufacturer on the planet seemed to come out with a Z80-based console to take the market by storm.

Sounds like something the Republicans are going... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107105)

to object to and outlaw. They hate games and the people that play them. Expect to see more and more laws that put us gamers in prison as the GOPpers gain more power. Obama is not fighting the latest round of attacks on us. He has done nothing to protect us.

Sub $5 Anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107107)

Well the Serfs certainly think a US $5 price point achievable.

Amazon has the pockets and infrastructure (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 months ago | (#46107143)

If any company can realize streaming gaming it's Amazon, largely because they can take advantage of their existing infrastructure of warehouses to maximize the # of customers that can actually use the service(not to mention their huge computing infrastructure). Previous attempts failed in part because they could only provide service to a few metropolitan areas due to latency issues. Buying buildings in a lot of different places and managing compute services in those places is pretty capital intensive, but at the same time thats the ONLY way to make streaming possible. Couple this with the fact that Amazon is getting aggressively into groceries, which means even more distribution centers, and you have a recipe for being able to actually make streaming possible...maybe. But if anyone can do it, Amazon can.

Why would Amazon develop when they can buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107155)

It wouldn't make sense for them to set aside a lab for people to invent these type of things, when they could just have their venture arm scout out companies doing promising things and then buy them out. Same as what they did with Kiva warehouse robotics, for example.

And the colllusion continues... (1, Informative)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 8 months ago | (#46107227)

This is another indication of how eager the tech industry is to get in on the same monetization model that Rovio was just implicated in with the Snowden documents--data for dollars.

Rovio was just the tip of the iceberg. Everyone is trying to get involved in a "goldrush" of funds that have infused the industry with a serious lack of morality.

As I pointed out in a couple of posts recently ( http://yro.slashdot.org/commen... [slashdot.org] ), it is the mobile analytics market that the NSA is targeting for their data on as many people as possible. Those analytics providers are doing what the NSA cannot do themselves legally--gather data. Analytics providers do the gathering, and the NSA either steals or buys the data. It's as simple as that folks.

The really dirty secret is that pretty much every company out there with an internet presence and a mobile presence (an app) is complicit in this gathering of data, and they all know it. Both The New York Times and The Guardian use the exact same analytics firm that Rovio uses in their mobile game "Angry Birds", yet they are the ones that published articles based on Edward Snowden documents outlining NSA activity that targeted mobile analytics. Hypocrites.

Just to give you an idea of just how big this iceberg is, dig deep in the following webpages--they outline, by connections, a web of investors and customers that are perpetrating a global auction of our privacy.

Amazon -- Seattle, Wa.
https://developer.amazon.com/s... [amazon.com]

Jaspersoft -- San Francisco, CA.
https://www.jaspersoft.com/mob... [jaspersoft.com]

Google -- San Francisco, CA.
http://www.google.com/analytic... [google.com]

Flurry -- San Francisco, CA.
http://www.flurry.com/flurry-a... [flurry.com]

Localytics -- Boston, MA.
http://www.localytics.com/ [localytics.com]

Countly -- LIBYA!!....serious wtf here. All contact info is for Libyan addresses.
https://count.ly/products/feat... [count.ly]

Konitgent -- San Francisco, CA.
http://www.kontagent.com/compa... [kontagent.com]

Webtrends -- Portland, OR.
http://webtrends.com/solutions... [webtrends.com]

Bango -- London, UK
http://bango.com/corporate/ [bango.com]

Apsalar -- San Francisco, CA.
https://apsalar.com/ [apsalar.com]

Piwik -- London, UK
http://piwik.org/what-is-piwik... [piwik.org]

Mobilytics (Mobivity) -- Chandler, AZ.
http://www.mobilytics.net/ [mobilytics.net]

Adobe -- San Jose, CA.
http://www.adobe.com/solutions... [adobe.com]

Openwave Mobility -- Redwood City, CA.
http://owmobility.com/about-us [owmobility.com]

Mixpanel -- San Francisco, CA.
https://mixpanel.com/ [mixpanel.com]

Urban Airship -- San Francisco/London
http://urbanairship.com/produc... [urbanairship.com]

Cognizant -- Teaneck, NJ.
http://www.cognizant.com/enter... [cognizant.com]

Amethon -- Sydney, AU
http://www.amethon.com/ [amethon.com]

The ring to rule them all, if you believe the developers..
Segment.io -- San Francisco, CA.
https://segment.io/mobile [segment.io]

For the inner workings, see linked Whitepaper. A good list of other miscreants is included on that page, in addition to the ones I list here...
http://www.mmaglobal.com/white... [mmaglobal.com]

Seems San Francisco is the epicenter of all of this activity, if office locations are an indicator.

Re:And the colllusion continues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107489)

Are you on drugs?

Re:And the colllusion continues... (3, Informative)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 8 months ago | (#46107579)

Yes.

Re:And the colllusion continues... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | about 8 months ago | (#46108267)

"Countly -- LIBYA!!....serious wtf here. All contact info is for Libyan addresses.
https://count.ly/products/feat [count.ly] ..."

It appears that even Countly--apparently based in Libya--has it's connections to San Francisco in the form of angel investor Philipp Moehring.

https://angel.co/countly [angel.co]

I say apparently, because I suspect that this might be a case of domain usage to hide the actual country doing the collecting of data, a situation made possible by "reserved" domains and the secondary domain market. Simply put, Countly may have nothing to do with Libya at all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.... [wikipedia.org]

Re:And the colllusion continues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46112579)

Countly is not a Libyan company. It is London (UK) based and has offices in Istanbul.

thats cool for amazon (1)

camperman (3518151) | about 8 months ago | (#46107245)

thats cool for amazon, if amazon run it,everything will be change,mobile game is high increase market,every internet company want to get it .

Games (1)

adamleroy35 (3517215) | about 8 months ago | (#46107351)

Great.. I think good idea but is it worth of playing game with that much money?

DCO and HPA (Host Protected Area of Hard Disk Driv (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107367)

DCO and HPA (Host Protected Area of Hard Disk Drives)

---DCO and HPA (Host Protected Area of HDDs)---------
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org]
http://www.forensicswiki.org/w... [forensicswiki.org]
http://hddguru.com/software/20... [hddguru.com]
http://hddguru.com/software/20... [hddguru.com]
http://hddguru.com/software/20... [hddguru.com]
http://www.itsecure.at/hparemo... [itsecure.at]
http://www.sleuthkit.org/infor... [sleuthkit.org]

You got to be Kindling me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107763)

Amazon... a console?

Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46107835)

If the ouya has proven anything, it's that people simply aren't interested.

Should be sub $100 (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 8 months ago | (#46108791)

Amazon has a lot of cloud storage and servers. They should just sell a cheap stick akin to Chromecast or the multitude of Android TV sticks which has a small amount of storage for Android apps running locally but also does streaming through the cloud. It shouldn't have to cost more than $100 even with a controller.

Game Studios (1)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about 8 months ago | (#46109623)

Is Amazon buying up studios to create it's launch games? Do they have parterships with EA, Ubisoft to port the big third party games? Or are they expecting people to buy the console and wait for games to come.

Really? Why would Amazon need that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46109811)

Why would Amazon create such a limiting device to gaming? When Amazon has a full content of media and books? They created a Android store and a Kindle group of media consumption devices already. I think a console of any kind would be limiting and not help their ecosystem.

Hey Amazon, storage is great! (1)

Marrow (195242) | about 8 months ago | (#46112181)

Make your box able to store the content locally so that we can play it anytime we want. You offer that on the PC and the Kindle, and I would love to see it expanded to the streaming boxes. You should also consider changing your xbox360 client so that it can download purchased content to the hard disk. I am sure there is enough DRM in a 360 to satisfy your licensing requirements.
People here are saying make a dumb plug that just runs off of your servers in the sky. Don't listen to them. Deliver the content in a way where you only have to send it once. Its better for you, and it will work better for your customers than streaming. It would dovetail nicely with your season-pass system if the downloads began automatically.

I was referring to movies and not games (1)

Marrow (195242) | about 8 months ago | (#46112339)

in case that was not apparent.

PlayStation NOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46114897)

I think PlayStation NOW is the next big one ready to break into the streaming game market. They already said they are making a client for PS4, PS3, and Vita. I wouldn't be surprised if they expand this to other devices as it ramps up, and maybe even make a dedicated Sony NOW device like this one. Who knows maybe they can work a deal out with Apple to include it on a future AppleTV which supports Bluetooth game controllers. So Amazon would be competing with Sony right out of the gate.

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