Google is developing a new video game
console powered by its Android operating system in a major challenge
to a 25-bilion-dollar industry dominated by Sony, Microsoft and
Nintendo, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The report said that the web software giant was also developing an Android wristwatch to challenge a similar device being readied by Apple, which is also planning a game console as part of its upcoming release of a new version of Apple TV.
The entry of the two tech giants into the video game space could shake up the market just as Sony and Microsoft are due to launch their next-generation consoles later this year.
Sales of the new consoles are expected to be weaker than those seen in the past, largely due to the competition from casual games played on smartphones and tablet computers.
The move by Google underscores its plan to expand the Android operating system beyond smartphones and tablets. An Android-based video game console made by an independent company called Ouya recently went on sale for just 99 dollars after breaking the fundraising record on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.com.
Google is also angling to use Android on laptops and appliances such as refrigerators, the report said. The next version of Android, due for release later this year, has been specifically tailored to allow manufacturers such as Samsung to more easily incorporate it into home and office appliances.
In May, Google's head of Android, Sundar Pichai, said more than 900 million devices powered by Android had been activated worldwide, up from 400 million a year ago and 100 million two years ago.
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