Google Working on Android Console Too

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is developing its own Android gaming console, a smartwatch which we already knew about, and the second generation Nexus Q streaming media player. The paper reports that the former two devices are in response to similar devices in the works over at iPhone giant, Apple.

Does that mean an iOS gaming console is in the works too? Sources told the paper that Apple is expected to launch such a device as part of its next Apple TV product release. That's likely in the September/October window, and is a good reason why Google is shooting to release one of its three reported gadgets by the fall.

That said, all bets are on the Android console, as five third-party solutions are already slated to arrive this year, including the currently sold out OUYA, Nvidia's Shield which was delayed to July, and the upcoming GameStick, GamePop and Mad Catz's M.O.J.O. consoles. Knowing Google, it believes a Nexus-flavored console needs to show competitors how it's done and trump whatever Apple has in its cards for Fall 2013.

Sources said that Google has been keeping a close eye on OUYA, a startup funded by Kickstarter that launched its Android console this week and sold out in mere hours. It's powered by Nvidia's older Tegra 3 SoC, but the pricetag is a mere $99, making it cheaper than a tablet for customers who only want Android gaming in the living room. Its biggest roadblock is its own walled garden; games cannot be imported from Google Play and Amazon Appstore.

Google has reportedly wrapped up development of Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean," and is expected to be distributed this fall. That means there is a good chance Google's gaming console will have Android 4.3 out of the box and heavily rely on the new gaming platform launched last month featuring matchmaking, leaderboards and more.

The paper also discussed Google's plan for Android 5.0 "Key Lime Pie," saying that the company is giving ODMs like Samsung greater freedom to use Android in form factors other than smartphones and tablets. That includes appliances and wearable devices, the latter of which Samsung is already developing using Android. Previously, device makers weren't allowed to promote the Android brand outside smartphones and tablets.

As for the next-generation Nexus Q, it will be less expensive than the former media player. It's also expected to help sell more movies and music through Google Play. Just recently Google launched Music All Access, a subscription service that seemingly paves the way for Google's media streaming player. There's a good chance this device will sport Android 5.0 "Key Lime Pie" as well, but we'll see.

  • Thunderfox
    I'm sure it'll be a smash hit, just like Google TV.
  • dimar
    If doesn't have GeForce Titan killer graphics, I'm not interested.
  • Sahand-Tabriz
    Will this use some AMD APU too? When it comes to consoles I can't stop thinking about AMD (sarcasm). BTW I like new APU in ps4.
  • falchard
    lol these consoles are jokes. Prepare yourselves to play games comparable to what was made two decades ago. But this time they are not written on a good platform and instead use Java and Objective C.
    I hope they don't do to games what Apple has done to programs, or as they are called now apps.
  • notsleep
    i hope storage space is big. android doesn't have any hard core gamer library yet. something like the ouya is good for now at entry price of $99. once the hw gets more powerful and developers start making better games, we'll start seeing a more competitive android console gaming system in the living room.
  • icemunk
    I'd buy this over an Ouya any day.
  • roger smith
    google, i love you but you are really reaching this time. death to the console, long live desktop + mouse/keyboard
  • bustapr
    knowing how google usually works, this will likely be more powerful than the ouya, access to play, and have a competitive price. i doubt itd go as cheap as the ouya, but it wont be vastly more expensive either. the ouya is already a marvelous little device at its price of $99 and makes for a great little media center. this console should make for good competition. the only thing missing is development of better games for the platform.
  • IndignantSkeptic
    Can people stop saying OUYA is an Android console. It is an Android based console; it is not compatible with Android; it is just similar to Android so if people want to make OUYA software they should probably just modify their Android version to make it easiest to port their software to OUYA.
  • somebodyspecial
    I hope this is Tegra4 based with a HD or SSD (full 1.9ghz nothing less, or heck more if it's a decent sized box, T4+? at 2.3ghz or something like T3+ added 400mhz to 1.7ghz from the regular 1.3ghz?). No point in forking the console market as the others are T3 or T4 based. Keep them all the same so all Tegra optimizations can be used. I see no other soc with games optimized and enhanced like Tegra. It goes without saying it needs netflix, AOD and youtube support out of the box :) With support for EVERY vid format, rather than missing a few like ROKU which shouldn't be hard since google owns the OS and it should run all android apps (which would cover any file type you can throw at it via many media players on android). I want to browse from the couch also, so include mouse/kb Btooth support please :)