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Can Amazon Disrupt the Gaming Industry, Too?


Amazon’s upcoming set-top box may be unannounced, unconfirmed and generally unspoken of so far, but most agree that it’s coming, and it will include a type of gaming component. While Amazon’s box certainly wouldn’t be a fully fledged console like the PS4 or Xbox One, it would be probably be closer to the recently deceased Ouya, as the box will likely run some version of the Android operating system, and could likely play games from that marketplace.

And what would these games be played with? New images have surfaced from a document from ANATEL, the Brazilian equivalent to the FCC (via Polygon). What we see is a sort of modified version of an Xbox controller, one with additional Kindle-like buttons in the center.

It closely resembles the OnLive controller, right down to “play, forward, rewind” buttons near the bottom. Needless to say, one of the chief complaints with OnLive was the relatively lackluster controller.

While Android marketplace games may not need the same level of quality controllers that traditional titles do, Amazon certainly needs to come up with something better than this before the final product goes to market. We have to assume that this is still in the prototype phase, and the final retail version will be more refined.

A good controller is key to the success of any gaming system, and both Sony and Microsoft have done great work with their respective updated controllers for this new generation. Even if Amazon’s games aren’t necessarily competing with the One or PS4, they would be wise not to discount the importance of the input device, and develop something that isn’t an immediate turn off to traditional gamers.

Even though Amazon is a powerful force in the tech space, it’s hard to believe the box would do anything like ‘disrupt’ either the mobile or traditional gaming markets, given what we know at this point. Perhaps it will be more capable than it appears, but if so, it’s going to need a better controller.

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