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With new Android gaming console, Google goes to war on Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and Apple

OUYA game console
A $99 Android console called OUYA already exists, but Google is rumored to be working on one of its own.
By Christopher Mims
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It looks like Google is working on a video game console based on Android, the same operating system that already runs a majority of the world’s smartphones, as well as a zillion other devices.

A proof of concept already exists in the Ouya, a $99 Android-powered video game console with a lot of promise but mixed reviews. The same sources apparently told the Wall Street Journal that Google is also working on an Android-powered smart watch and a relaunch of its Nexus Q, a set-top streaming device designed to compete with smart TVs, Apple TV, Roku and similar devices.

If these rumors bear fruit, they confirm two things: First, that absolutely everyone (even Apple) is working on a gaming console, because why not take those games that are trapped on your phone and get them onto your TV. And second, that Android is becoming a lightweight, universal operating system suitable for pretty much any application you can think of.

To wit: The next version of Android is rumored to be smaller than the current version, requiring just half the memory (RAM)—512 megabytes versus 1 gigabyte. Google can’t keep shrinking Android forever, but as memory continues to become cheaper, a nimble version of Android, which after all is free to use and carries no licensing fee, could become the default base software of every device with a computer in it. Which, in the coming era of the “Internet of Things,” when even your toaster has at least as much smarts as the first iPhone, is pretty much everything.

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