in Fails

Amazon’s Game Thing Gets Weirder

TechCrunch seems to know what’s up with whatever Amazon is supposed to be making to enter the games market:

Amazon is readying a game console/set top box of its own, and we’ve learned from multiple sources familiar with the device that the Lab126-produced gadget will have a form factor similar to the Chromecast, or in other words it’ll be a stick or dongle as opposed to something like the Apple TV. In addition, one source claims it should have support for streaming full PC game titles, and as such might be able to compete with consoles including the Xbox and PlayStation, instead of just Android-powered living room game devices.

This thing keeps getting weirder and weirder. (And worse and worse.) First it’s an Ouya-like thing, which was a recipe for failure. Now it’s a Chromecast-style HDMI dongle that streams games to your TV like OnLive:

These streaming efforts will be more akin to the remote game service offered by OnLive, than to the local streaming that Nvidia offers through its Shield Android gaming console and Nvidia-powered gaming PCs. The titles, which are said to be top-tier games, will be streamed from Amazon’s services at 30fps (which is comparable to most online video) according to our source.

Um… OK. So that’s 30fps, plus (on a great internet connection) at least 50ms of latency for controller input, assuming a very generous 25ms ping to the server, and then the data has to travel there and back.

Is there actually a market for this? I’ll give the streaming thing a try if PlayStation Now ends up being something that Plus members get for free, but at least for me, I’m not interested in anything where I’m not running things locally. Input lag would drive me nuts.

Amazon should stick to the business it knows and does best: selling you things that it then ships to your door.