Ouya was released this week to many an eager customer. Amazon sold out of the Android console very quickly before replenishing stock, and Best Buy currently doesn’t have Ouya available for shipping. It’s clear there’s a market for a cheap Android-powered game console, and it appears to have gotten the attention of Google. The Wall Street Journal is reporting Google is working on its very own game console.
Google has a history of trying its hand at consumer electronics once it sees appropriate demand. The Nexus line of smartphones, the Nexus 7 tablet, Google TV and the line of Chromebooks are a few examples of this. Google can sell products like these at a lower price than competitors since it owns the ecosystem that customers will use to buy apps, games, music, movies and books. It also has a working relationship with manufacturers such as Samsung, LG and Asus which have all made Google products before.
Google’s biggest wild card in the Android console war is its ownership of Google Play. Neither Ouya or the upcoming GameStick have official access to Google Play. A console would also benefit from Google Play games services and give it more reason to exist.