Google is developing an Android-powered videogame console, reports Wall Street Journal citing sources familiar with the matter. The search giant reportedly wants to release the console as well as a smartwatch (details later) as a pre-emptive strike to take on Apple, which might release similar devices in the future.
Although there is no information on release time-schedule of the console but WSJ claims that it could arrive this fall.
We have seen in the recent years that Google’s hardware ambitions have grown far beyond than just partnering with third-party manufacturer to Nexus brand devices. The company even nabbed a hardware maker in the form of Motorola; however it cited the US mobile maker’s patent portfolio as the reason for the buy but it is increasingly becoming clear that Motorola patents aren’t really worth the price and Google might have some plans for Motorola’s hardware business.
The recent rise of Android-powered game consoles like Ouya, Gamepop and Gamestick have shown that casual gaming might turn out to be the next big device category. However, it is still a little early to release a verdict.
According to WSJ, Google’s game console plans are derived from the expectations that Apple will launch a game console as a part of its next Apple TV release. Given the popularity of iOS games, it is not really too far-fetched and Apple needs new product categories.
Google is also keeping a close eye on Ouya, the Kickstarter funded Android game console, which recently began the public sales for $99.
Mountain View’s Android unit and X hardware lab are said to be working together on the console and there is no involvement of the company’s Motorola unit.
Google smart watch is coming
In related news, WSJ is reporting that Google is also working on a smartwatch to take on Apple’s rumoured watch device. The publication does not reveal many details but notes that it will be powered by Android, probably the next version, which adds support for more devices like home appliances, laptops and wearables.
The report also adds that this smartwatch will connect with Android smartphones using Bluetooth technology. It could be announced alongside Key Lime Pie this fall.