The Wall Street Journal, citing those ever-loquacious "people familiar with the matter," reports that Google is developing a game console and a smartwatch to be powered by, no surprise, Android.
"With the watch and game console, Google is hoping to combat similar devices that Apple Inc. may release in the future, the WSJ writes (paid subscription required).
In addition to these two new hardware forays – possible swag for Google's rumored retail stores? – those familiar people also told the WSJ that Google was preparing to take another shot at a web-connected (and Google Play tie-in) media player, a second try at the globular Nexus Q – which didn't exactly set the world on fire last summer. In fact, before it disappeared entirely its price dropped from three-hundred smackers to free when it was shipped to the few folks who had preordered it.
Interestingly, Reg readers may remember that a Nexus Q follow-on was hinted at late last month when Google filed paperwork with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a "H840 Device" that "functions as a media player" – a filing, oddly enough, that was replete with references to Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
A few bubbles have risen to the surface of the rumor stew about Google looking into a smartwatch, but the WSJ's report of Google working on a game console is the first that we here at Vulture Annex have heard of such an effort – and we wouldn't be at all surprised if the "people familiar with the matter" were spot on about both devices.
After all, the inhabitants of the Chocolate Factory aren't dolts. They watched Apple gain tremendous first-mover advantage with the iPhone, and then repeat that success with the iPad. Although Apple currently regards its iDevices as game machines in their own right and are likely not crafting a game console in some dark corner of One Infinite Loop, it's been widely reported that an iWatch of some sort is on Apple roadmap – there have even been reports that über-designer Jony Ive has a 100-member team working on it at this very moment.
If Google is serious about its plans for world domination – and there's never been a scintilla of evidence that it isn't – the extension of Android into more and more types of devices is most certainly part of that plan.
In addition, Google has also not shown much compunction about moving into hardware areas in which its partners now play. Not much success, either – but that could change. ®