ONLINE RETAILER Amazon has invested an undisclosed sum on a games development firm called Double Helix Games.
Amazon confirmed the acquisition in a statement sent to The INQUIRER. A spokesperson said, "Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers."
Though not discussed in much detail by Amazon, this has added fire to the rumours that the company is working towards a standalone games console to compete with those made by Sony and Microsoft.
Amazon already has a games studio called Amazon Games Studio (AGS) based in three locations - Seattle, San Francisco, and Irvine. Double Helix Games is based in Seattle.
The AGS job webpages are busy with job openings, and Amazon claims that its games are "innovative" and "fun", which we take to mean web browser, smartphone and tablet friendly. Amazon games can be downloaded for iOS and Android, and are also available from the Amazon app store.
Early rumours about the games console pointed to a machine that will be cheaper than the Xbox One and the Sony Playstation 4. Mobile games will be in competition with Android consoles like the Ouya and Gamestick.
Amazon hasn't explicitly said that an Android based games console is on a whiteboard somewhere in a development centre, but it did deliver a hint earlier this year that something is coming.
"We are working on a revolutionary V1 product that will allow us to deliver Digital Media to our customers in new ways and disrupt the current marketplace," Amazon said.
"We have teams in various locations partnering on this product from Sunnyvale [and] Seattle to right here in Boston. We believe this new product will be even bigger than Kindle."
Rumours suggest that the Amazon games console will include games, streaming music - we assume Amazon cloud player - and movies on demand, probably from Lovefilm.
Amazon has not replied to our request for comment yet, but it has spoken with Techcrunch.
Double Helix has not updated its website recently. That still says it is an independent games company. µ
Plus, it's goodbye to Device Assist
Vulnerabilities in the iOS sandbox thankfully found by the good guys
Data watchdog will make sure firm is being fully transparent about the controversial move
Chinese firm reportedly forces staff to do 82 hours of overtime a month