Amazon’s Rumored Digital Media Player May Feature Streaming Game Support

Amazon Big Smile

Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) rumored video game console/set-top box may support online video game streaming, but it will not resemble a typical video game console or set-top box, reports TechCrunch. According to “multiple sources familiar with the device,” cited by TechCrunch, the device will look more like Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chromecast dongle and less like Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) set-top Apple TV product. Like Chromecast, the Amazon device will presumably plug directly into a television set’s HDMI port.

According to TechCrunch’s sources, the Amazon device will stream “top-tier games” at a standard online video service speed of 30 frames-per-second. As previously reported by Recode, Amazon has been seeking game developers with “experience designing and creating world-class games.” The device’s game streaming feature will complement Amazon’s digital PC game sales as well as the company’s Amazon Instant Video service. Amazon’s move into the video game console/set-top box hardware market follows the company’s similar moves into the e-book reader and tablet markets after it began offering media for those devices.

The addition of video game support would also give consumers another reason to choose Amazon’s product over the Chromecast or Apple TV. Both Chromecast and Apple TV allow users to stream video to their televisions, but neither device is specifically designed to enable video game playing on TVs. An Amazon video game streaming device could signal a major power shift in the home video game market put the company in direct competition with up-and-coming Steam Machine makers, as well as traditional video game console makers like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) with its Xbox One and Sony (NTSE:SNE) with its PlayStation 4.

However, it may not be long before Amazon’s competitors release their own digital media player devices with game support. According to insider sources cited by 9to5Mac, Apple is developing a successor to the current Apple TV device that may include new types of content and a reworked operating system.

Apple news site iLounge previously cited “reliable industry sources” reporting that the new Apple TV would have a function that will allow users to directly download games to the digital media receiver. The sources also suggested that Bluetooth-enabled controllers were in development. Although Amazon has yet to announce a release date for its long-rumored product, insider sources recently cited by Recode indicated that Amazon is planning on launching the device in March.

More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet:

Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)