It wasn't all that long ago that Amazon was solely an online bookseller. And then, it became an online superstore. And out of nowhere, it plunged into the hardware realm with its famed Kindle
brand. The company doesn't seem like it's going to stop branching out anytime soon, hence a full force of rumors surrounding a future Amazon
game console. Those rumors gained some backing this week as the company officially acquired Double Helix Games, a gaming studio that was founded in 2007 and employs some 75 people.
Those people will now become Amazon employees, with Amazon stating that the acquisition was made "as part of [its] ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers." Double Helix has quite a few titles in its history that the masses have heard of, including "Earthworm Jim" and "Killer Instinct." Amazon has assured users of Double Helix's existing games that support will be provided.
What remains to be seen is how this plays into Amazon's (still developing) game strategy. Ad-based gaming certainly works (as evidenced by Flappy Bird, which is making the rounds on iOS), and people are quite used to the concept. Amazon's history in digital streaming and advertising gives it an advantage, as does its well-recognized name. Whether or not the world needs another console is up for debate, as OUYA
's console received a great deal of hype but has largely become a nonfactor after launch.
Regardless, if Amazon decides to dive in with a console of its own, you can bet that the folks at Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, and elsewhere will be paying attention to its tactics.