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Report: Google working on Android-powered video game console

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Is Google getting into the game?

According to a new Wall Street Journal report, it sure is.

The web giant is developing a video game console powered by its Android operating system, reports the WSJ, partly in response to -- who else? -- Apple.

"The people briefed on the matter said Google is reacting in part to expectations that rival Apple will launch a videogame console as part of its next Apple TV product release," says the Journal.

The report comes on the heels of the release of the Ouya, a $99 Android-driven console that received massive support during its initial Kickstarter run. Reviews for the Ouya haven’t been glowing, exactly, but there’s clearly interest in the potential of an Android machine. The WSJ notes that Google has been watching the Ouya closely. Other Android-powered game systems like Playjam’s upcoming GameStick and the NVIDIA Shield (which can also stream PC games) are due out later this year.

The Journal report, however, suggests that this new console will be created and marketed by Google itself. That would be a huge play for the company, though the field is already set to be plenty crowded this year thanks to the holiday arrival of new home consoles by Sony and Microsoft.

Of course, the chief concern of Google is Apple, who earlier this month made some waves by announcing that its upcoming iOS 7 will support traditional video game controllers.

In addition to the game console, the Journal reports that Google is working on a reworked version of its Nexus Q device as well as an Android-powered smartwatch. Citing "people familiar with the matter," the Journal reports that Google plans on shipping at least one of these three devices as soon as this fall.

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