Amazon is preparing an entry into the set-top box market that will include both entertainment and gaming functionality, according to a report late last week by Variety.
The box, set to arrive “later this spring,” will feature Netflix, Hulu and other streaming apps, in addition to access to Amazon’s own video-on-demand features. But it will also offer something competitors such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku never have- the ability to function as a game console. The associated controller accessory, which is optional for use, even surfaced Friday, according to sources cited by our sister site Gamertell.
Amazon’s set-top project came to light last year, and was potentially going to be ready for 2013 holiday-shopping season before the ship date was pushed back to target a March launch, perRe/code, citing unidentified partners. The device is being developed by Amazon’s hardware-development unit, Lab126, which built the company’s first e-reader and Kindle tablets.
There’s no word on what the box will be called, what it will cost or whether it will be available at retail outside of Amazon itself. The Kindle was Amazon-exclusive for a couple of years after its launch, but the Kindle Fire tablet hit retail much sooner.