Amazon's Console Controller LeakedJon Ledford |
Leaked images of a new Amazon game controller strongly hint that the online retailer is in the process of making a set-top box that will stream video, music and games.
The Verge reported that images of this game controller were uncovered through Anatel (Brazil's version of the FCC), which nearly confirms the rumored existence of an Amazon set-top box being designed for TV integration. The Amazon controller features a fairly traditional design, but with the asymmetrical, Xbox-like, uneven analog sticks where the left stick is higher than the one on the right. Android users should be able to recognize the back, home and menu buttons at the center of the controller, which would also likely be used as Select and Start buttons during gameplay.
Given the rumors that Amazon is trying to launch a music-streaming program, which could run as an exclusive on the Amazon set-top box, the media-playing buttons on the bottom of the controller make a lot of sense (but would probably be used the most for video playback). Amazon currently owns the Kindle brand of e-book readers/tablets. Since the Kindle Fire already runs a modified Android operating system, this would make it likely that the Amazon box would have access to Android games at a bare minimum (especially when you consider the controller's top, center buttons). The inclusion of access to the Google Play store would prove extremely beneficial to the Amazon box. The button beneath the controller's three Android buttons bears the symbol for GameCircle, which is the Amazon-exclusive service for monitoring achievements, leaderboards and hosting cloud saves.
The recent $20 annual increase to Amazon Prime, which you need in order to watch Amazon's streaming content (both unlimited and exclusive), suggest that something big is in the works when it comes to Amazon streaming. Given that Amazon has recently acquired Double Helix, the developer behind Killer Instinct and Strider, we can assume that Amazon is quite serious about its foray into gaming on television screens.