According to Game Informer, Amazon is set to launch an Android-based games console on Black Friday (November 29).
But we're not 100% sold on the likelihood of a gaming-centric device. Ouya has hardly set the world afire sales-wise (Ars Technica reports just 27% of owners are even buying games on the platform), and other Android gaming devices such as Game Stick seem equally unlikely to rain on the Xbox One or PS4's parade. If these rumours of new Kindle hardware have any basis in reality, it's to stake Amazon's place in a much hotter space: smart TV.
It ain't just about the games
Last month we saw the arrival of Google's Chromecast and Sky's Now TV box, which take the fight to existing highly popular devices such as Apple TV. Amazon won't want to be left behind, particularly as it offers digital video downloads in the form of Amazon Instant Video in the USA, and TV and movie streams in the UK from LoveFilm.
Amazon certainly has previous with Android, not just in the Kindle Fire line of devices, but in its own Amazon Appstore – effectively an edit of Google Play that allows Amazon to take a cut of any sales it makes. Amazon's own box could provide access to its video offerings, and to any Android apps available through this existing channel. So, yes, it could be a console of sorts, but its focus – just like its Kindle tablet brethren – would be as a shop window to sell the multimedia goods that Amazon already offers.
Gaming would certainly be a sensible part of Amazon's strategy, as Apple has inadvertently become the gaming industry's fastest mover. Also, the Apple TV, combined with an iOS gadget and iOS 7-ready gamepad, will be a formidable console in its own right. The suggestion from Game Informer that whatever Amazon has up its sleeve will ship with a game controller could be on the button (no pun intended).
For now, that's where the story ends; there are no further details on specification or pricing. It's possible that any TV box would share innards already available in a Kindle Fire HD 8.9, which have proven themselves able to drive a slick 1920x1200 performance, and would be capable of the same or better on your 1920x1080 HD TV screen (try out the 8.9's HDMI port for proof).
We've approached Amazon for more details, so stay tuned for developments.