Google Inc. is developing a video gaming console and a wristwatch powered by its Android operating system. Supposedly, Google is making these Android-powered devices in reaction to Apple’s upcoming devices. According to people familiar with the matter, as the Internet giant seeks to spread the software beyond smartphones and tablets, they also hope to design and market the devices itself. Also the rumours suggest that they might release at least one of them this fall.
Samsung has said it’s working on an Android-based watch with smartphone-like capabilities. Wearable computing is a hot area of development for startups and technology giants. The Wall Street Journal reported in February that Apple was developing a watch-like device with smartphone features.
Personal-computer makers including Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) are already working on Android-powered laptops running the next version of the software, an effort that is separate from already launched Android tablets and that can physically connect to a keyboard. Android laptops would thus compete with those powered by Microsoft’s Windows software.
The hardware plans are the latest sign of Google’s determination to build on the success of Android, the software it launched in 2008 that powered 75% of all smartphones and 57% of tablets shipped globally in the first quarter, according to the research firm IDC.
Google’s head of Android, Sundar Pichai, in May said more than 900 million devices powered by Android have been activated worldwide, up from 400 million a year ago and 100 million two years ago.
Last fall Google said it was on a track to generate $8 billion annually in gross revenue from mobile devices, though some analysts say the majority of Google’s net mobile revenue comes from Web search and YouTube used on Apple devices.
Sony and Microsoft have recently unveiled new versions of their PlayStation and Xbox game consoles, which are expected to go on sale later this year. Together with Nintendo, sales of the games for these devices accounted for most of the $24.9 billion spent world-wide last year on console games, according to market researcher ‘PwC’.
Google is also preparing to release a second version of an Android-powered media-streaming device, called Nexus Q, that was unveiled last year but not sold to the public.