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Amazon.com to ship Android-powered gaming console, priced under $300

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Already rumored to be planning the release of an Android smartphone this year, a report issued Tuesday on VG247 points to Amazon.com increasing its Android aspirations past tablets and smartphones with an Android-based gaming console.

Multiple sources told the site that the console would offer both streaming and download of games, as well as content such as music, movies and TV shows. It would run Android, but based on Amazon.com's past products, an extremely forked version of Android, which would have to connect to the Amazon Appstore rather than Google Play for any apps.

This isn't the first time we've heard about an Amazon.com Android-based gaming console. The earlier report pointed to a release prior to the end of 2013, but the new report said that -- as is obvious by the lack of physical release -- it was delayed at the last minute and is now expected to be released sometime this year.

The console could compete with NVIDIA's Shield, the Ouya console, the Gamestick, as well as other non-Android gaming devices.

Currently, it's being shopped around to game publishers. The unit -- which we would expect would get a makeover prior to retail release -- is roughly the same size as the redesigned PlayStation (One) and is oblong in shape with sharp edges. The reports from last year said it would sport a Qualcomm processor, but the new report does not shed light on that, only quoting the earlier information.

The device is likely to be sold for below $300, the report added.

It's believed that -- as with its Kindle Fire and as would be the case with a Kindle smartphone -- Amazon.com is less interested in making money on the console itself than it is in using the console as a sort of gateway into the rest of its retail site.

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