Amazon is getting closer to wading into the the console gaming arena in earnest. This is Amazon's game console controller. Like some sort of cross-species love child between the Xbox One and PS4 controllers, this black controller looks like it will function as both a media remote and a link to Amazon's Game Circle hub.
All the usual console gaming controls are present, albeit in strangely hybridized fashion. On top of the usual dual analog sticks, D-pad, shoulder buttons, triggers, and A, B, X, and Y buttons, Amazon seems to have dropped in a few Android menu buttons (back, home, menu) as well as a link to the Game Circle hub — itself highly reminiscent of the Xbox guide button. The controller also has some fairly subtle LED displays that monitor your battery and Bluetooth connection levels and basic media controls near the bottom of the controller, which we assume will make swapping from gaming to Amazon Instant Video, Netflix or Hulu as easy as pie.
It isn't the prettiest controller, but then again, Amazon isn't one to be known for pretty hardware. That would be Apple and Google.
Amazon has been rumored to be building a gaming console of sorts with Kindle creators Lab 126, which could easily mean a new tablet with a decent graphics processor. As per the rumor mill, the "console" will probably run you about $300. We're also betting that, what with a recent $20 hike in the price of Amazon Prime, those hoping to do a bit of online gaming through their Amazon console will have to shell out the now $99 annual fee for that privilege.
If Amazon plays its cards right, it could at least keep pace with Apple's rumoredly gaming-centric Apple TV. As for Microsoft and Sony, Amazon has a long, steep climb ahead if it wants to become a serious competitor in the console gaming arena.