Amazon’s purchase of Killer Instinct developer Double Helix supports the recent reports that the company is building an Android-based game console–like the Ouya–to release this year.
Double Helix, formed by two separate development studios in 2007, is valuable to a company looking to launch its own game console against the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It has experience working on both consoles and PC, and it recently released a launch game for the Xbox One. Launch games are known to be tough projects because a studio needs to adapt to the technical changes a console sees over the course of its development, and it has to have the game finished before the console is released. Double Helix also owns its own engine, the HEX Engine, which it used to build Killer Instinct. And lastly, Amazon’s current games division is located in the same city as Double Helix: Irvine, California.
If Amazon wants to debut a game console, it’ll need games, especially ones that are more than the scope of a mobile game if it wants to directly compete with Sony and Microsoft. This was one of the many problems critics have said hurt the Ouya’s reception. Double Helix might be the developer Amazon needs to avoid that.