Amazon could have an Android game consoleThis could be the year of the Android console, if Amazon is making a system. Also, Nvidia is working on the sequel to the Surface tablet, and Google puts ads in the Maps app.
Is Amazon taking on the Ouya? Oh, boy. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. Amazon is reportedly working on its own Android-based gaming system and this console would have its own dedicated controller. This news comes from Game Informer and sources say that the console would serve as a platform for the digital games that you can already buy off Amazon's website. There's also been buzz that Amazon is hiring game developers. Android-based game consoles are just starting to come out now. There's the Ouya which plays Android games by connecting to your TV with an HDMI cable and it comes with a controller for $100. All the games are free to try. Coming soon is the GameStick which, like the name, is a stick that plugs directly into the TV's HDMI port and it will have a wireless controller. It costs $80 and it'll be out in about two weeks. GamePop has two models, one paid and one free, and a $7 monthly subscription gets you access to $200 worth of Android games, but that won't be out until the end of the year. Mad Catz is also making something called the M.O.J. O., but there are not many details yet. And then, there's the Nvidia Shield which is a different beast than these others. It's a portable system with a screen built right into the controller. It plays Android apps and games, and if you own a computer with a graphics processor that is an Nvidia GTX 650 or newer, it can stream some full PC games directly to the console over a Wi-Fi. Even though it's a bit pricey at $300, apparently, it has been selling out of its first batch, but while Nvidia ramps up production on the Shield, the chipmaker has confirmed to CNET that it's been also busy working hard on the Surface 2, the next version of Microsoft's tablet. Nvidia provided the processor for the first Surface RT, but sales of the device were pretty bad, one reason being that it didn't have outlook available at launch, but apparently, it will be loaded on this Surface sequel. And switching gears to the world of video streaming, Roku has a new trick. The Roku iOS app can now stream videos and music stored from an Apple mobile device to your TV. It's Roku's answer to Apple TV's AirPlay, but this is limited because it doesn't work with computers or other apps. It's just the music and videos saved on the iPhone, iPad, or, iPod Touch. And for those of you that use Google Maps app on iPhones and Androids, you'll now be seeing advertisements on the bottom of the maps served up with your directions. This is Google's new way of showing ads relevant to your search and you'll see them marked in purple. That's your tech news update and you can read up on more details at cnet.com/update and follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.