Internet giant Google is developing a game console and a smart wrist watch device powered by Google Android operating system, according to a media report. The game console is supposed to compete not only against traditional gaming platforms, but also against multimedia delivery devices, such as Apple TV. The wrist watch with Android will likely be universal companions for smartphones and tablets based on Google platform.
Google is expected to give device manufacturers greater freedom to use Android in products other than smartphones and tablets with the release of Android 5 “Key Lime Pie” later this year. This will open the doors for various wearable computing gadgets, but will also enable to create robust consumer electronics for the living room. Google itself is expected to offer at least two innovative devices in 2013: a multimedia and gaming console for Android-based games as well as smart wrist watch, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The game console from Google is expected to run all games ever released for Android operating system, which is a huge amount of content. The gaming device will naturally let Google to compete against Apple’s AirPlay feature that allows iOS games to run on the big screen TV, but it will also put the Internet service giant into a battle between Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. While Google’s console will unlikely address core gamers with high demands, it will be able to offer decent entertainment for occasional gamers. One caveat about the Google’s potential console is the fact that the company will compete against similar devices from other companies (GamePop, Ouya), which will create fragmentation and will confuse buyers.
What is completely uncertain at this point is whether Google’s game console will also provide rich entertainment functionality in addition to gaming, just like Apple TV, Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation do. All of these platforms feature advanced music and video streaming/rental/download services, whereas Google will either have to rely on third-parties or will need to create its own, which involves negotiations with content owners, something that takes a long time. Google's own interactive TV platform has failed to become popular, so the game console will be the company's second attempt to enter the living room.
Just like Google Glass goggles, Google’s rumoured watch will connect to a smartphone or a tablet using Bluetooth technology and will become a companion device designed for actions that do not need a large screen. It is likely that smart wrist watches will run some applications in autonomous mode, but will require a “big” device for other tasks, such as connecting to the Internet. It remains to be seen how Google Glass and Google Watch will complement themselves and whether it will make sense to own both.
Google did not comment on the news-story.