Would You Buy An Amazon Entertainment System?
Double Helix, the developers behind Killer Instinct and upcoming Capcom reboot Strider (amongst other vastly less impressive offerings) has been purchased by the most unlikely of companies. Amazon.
Is the colossal corporation readying a push into the home console arena with a device of their own? The evidence is mounting.
TechCrunch reported on the buyout yesterday, which was subsequently confirmed by the mail-order giant. “Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers," announced a representative, referring to the company's growing portfolio of developers designing games for the Kindle platform.
Killer Instinct will remain with Microsoft, both in terms of the IP and core staff, who'll continue to support the Xbox One fighter over the coming months. "We want all of our loyal fans to know that the Killer Instinct team at Microsoft is not changing and that the franchise will remain with Microsoft Studios. We remain dedicated to delivering a great experience and plan to announce our new development partner soon. We're excited about the future of this popular franchise," a Microsoft spokesperson assured Eurogamer.
The purchase of such a high-profile studio, however, suggests that Amazon might have bigger plans. Recent reports [from VG247] suggest that the company is readying an Android-powered living room console for an imminent reveal, which will attempt to pack HTPC entertainment and gaming functionality into a sub-$300 box. Current rumblings allege that the system will launch this year, offering instant access to Amazon's existing streaming video and entertainment services.
I'm not personally convinced that the Android console market has legs, even with such a major backer, considering that most modern Android tablets and Smart TVs offer similar functionality as standard without the need for extra hardware. However, it's clear that Amazon have at least identified one of the major issues with Android as a home console OS -- the lack of compelling exclusive software due to high piracy rates and optimision issues (it's perfect for F2P, but big games take months to reach the marketplace or skip it entirely) -- and is taking steps to counter it with in-house developers of their own.
I'll likely re-enter the Android console debate soon in a fuller article, but for now, what do you make of the buyout... and do you have room beneath your telly for an Amazon entertainment system?