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Amazon reportedly developing a game console

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A match made in heaven?

Everyone’s getting in on the video game console act these days.

Game Informer reports that retail giant Amazon is developing an Android-based gaming system, due for release later this year. The company will reportedly use its existing base of Android games to provide a catalog for the system. Amazon is also said to be working on its own controller.

Amazon declined to discuss the report, citing its policy against commenting on rumor and speculation.

The Amazon console joins a flood of other Android-based systems arriving in 2013, including the NVIDIA Shield, the Gamestick, and an upcoming console from Google.

The only dedicated Android console currently out, the low-cost Ouya, has had a rough go thus far. Critics haven't been especially kind, and NPD says first month sales "were relatively light for a new console." The company's CEO, however, says game sales on the system have been better than expected.

Many look at Ouya as a novelty or one-off in the console space, but should Amazon move forward with these plans, Android consoles may become a legitimate force in the industry. Amazon has proved disruptive in other fields, including the tablet space, by introducing its own hardware.

Amazon also has a secret weapon up its sleeve with Amazon Prime. The subscription service, which costs just a bit more than a year of Xbox Live, already offers a number of perks to Kindle owners. The gaming potential of Prime is substantial.

On top of that, Amazon already offers a free daily download, which is often (but not always) a game, which could help owners better stock their libraries.

However, this holiday season is already going to be a crowded one. Microsoft and Sony are both expected to roll out their new systems in November, while Nintendo will fight for market share for the Wii U -- likely with a big game bundle, though analysts haven't completely ruled out a price cut.

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