As if Ouya wasn’t in enough trouble. According to a rumor blip we found via GameInformer, it appears that the online retail giant has ambitions of invading the home console/set-top space by the end of this year by releasing their own, Amazon-branded Android console which we’re guessing will be in the same family as its wildly successful Kindle Fire line of Android-based tablets. GameInformer claims that they have sources close to the project, spilling some details about the console leveraging its current “App Store” offerings.
Though the Ouya has been our perpetual whipping-boy ever since its release a few months ago (and for good reason), I still feel that the set-top box space is both oversaturated and untapped. In between the myriad of offerings from different manufacturers out there, there hasn’t been a solid box that “does it all.” Google TV—with its cable box integration/overlays and HDMI passthrough design—comes the closest, but fails by not allowing publishers on the platform to use the NDK on Google TV apps (which I believe they are rectifying), which kills the potential for more complex apps and games. Roku and Apple TV’s closed implementations are dead-ends, with neither manufacturer willing to open up their boxes for third-party apps.
I would buy a decently-equipped, quad-core Amazon box in a heartbeat. I’m already well-invested in the Amazon ecosystem, and unlike Ouya’s shaky, rocky, half-arsed marketplace, I at least know that Amazon will do a good job curating and giving incentives to developers to target their future platform.