Published on February 6th, 2014 | by D'Juan Irvin, Editor/Founder0
Amazon has Acquired Double Helix Games
It’s been a running rumor for some time now that Amazon.com, purveyor of fine goods at often inexpensive rates, has been working on a video game console. It’s been reported, time and time again, for a decent amount of time. And why wouldn’t they, right? They’re already the primary destination for people looking for deals on just about everything else, and have opened up dedicated shops for digital goods already, so it wouldn’t seem too far-fetched that they’d come up with their own solution.
Well it seems that either those rumors are true or Amazon is becoming a publisher, as it’s being reported that they’ve acquired Double Helix Games, the development studio behind the Xbox One’s launch title Killer Instinct. Surprisingly, if you search for “killer instinct xbox one” on the site, you’ll barely find copies of the physical game. Whether or not that has anything to do with this purchase is up in the air, but it’s surprising nonetheless.
There are multiple ways that this kind of thing can go. It’s fairly common knowledge that Amazon isn’t always profitable. Is that likely due to loopholes? Of course, but with the fact that Amazon is already comfortable operating at a loss, there are a few unique possibilities that this could lean toward that don’t necessarily mean they’re releasing a console to compete with the likes of Microsoft, Sony & Nintendo.
First, there’s the obvious possibility that they could be releasing an Android gaming console. If that were the case, as is the technology way as of late, I’d expect it to be decked out with an Nvidia Tegra chip (simply because I have high hopes) and release a new version of this console every year. This is common with phones/tablets/Kindles & TVs, so that would be expected. Chances are it would have some serious media backing, what with Amazon having Amazon Instant Video.
It would also make sense since Amazon is already selling high quality tech in the Kindle Fire series. Would we be talking PlayStation 4 power here? Not at all, but remember that Amazon isn’t a hardcore gaming company, so they’d be aiming at a different audience, which is where the media capabilities come in. Even with all that though, there would still be the fact that Amazon would have to create a system.
Another scenario is Amazon simply throwing itself into a publisher role. They could create and publish games on the major platforms without having to worry about all the hassle of hardware. What’s more fearsome to the status quo than a publisher who doesn’t worry about the sales of its games because it will price them how it damn well pleases? Don’t think for a second that Amazon wouldn’t sell it’s own games for a mega-discount on its own website if the Xbox Live or PlayStation Network price wasn’t what Amazon would prefer.
Amazon’s Killer Instincts
Realistically, since Amazon has a decent foothold in the markets of media and digital purchases, an Amazon game console has the potential to do serious numbers, especially if they hit the ground running with a system that’s graphically more capable than the Xbox 360 and PS3 for a similar or cheaper price.
Think about it:
- Amazon Prime
- Amazon Instant Video
- Amazon Digital Game Store
If I were a console maker, I might just be weary of what Amazon may do. They have the potential to shake up the gaming market from under the feet of the current titans while still peddling their wares. They definitely wouldn’t stop selling physical copies of the other system’s games, that’d be craziness for everyone involved. This thought alone spreads doubt through my mind that Amazon is actually building a console, but stranger things have happened.
The mere possibility of it should be a wake-up call, though. Winter is coming, and this particular snowstorm could be named Amazon.