Smartwatches are occupying our news feed this week. Three days ago, Sony SmartWatch 2 was finally unveiled and we compared it to some of the alternatives the market has to offer. Today a big player joins the fray. According to Wall Street Journal, Google “is developing a videogame console and wristwatch powered by its Android operating system”. Backed by the recurring phrase “according to people familiar with the matter”, the WSJ launches a bombshell, that can be considered either a hearsay or a leak (maybe to overshadow the recent release of both the microconsole OUYA and the unveiling of Sony Smartwatch?). Whatever the case, WSJ’s usually come through on rumors.
Thus, the big G is presumably seeking to spread the software beyond the smartphones and tablets market by integrating them in wearable computing and appliances. Starting from a videogame console and wristwatch isn’t a coincidence though. According to WSJ, Google is reacting to Apple’s plan to extend iOS to new devices covering exactly those fields. Remember that Apple CEO Tim Cook stated a few weeks ago at D11 Interview that he’s more into “wrist” wearable devices than, for instance, smart glasses. What’s more, two weeks ago rumors of Cupertino’s future plans to turn Apple TV into a videogame console also come out, shaking things up.
According to Bloomberg around 1.2 million smart watches will be sold in 2013, generating $370 million in sales, and 20-fold by 2015. There’s a big cake in there. Opportunities in the videogame industry are even more evident since classic consoles are in the midst of a concept redefinition that is leaving behind casual gamers and, consequently, some niches that micro-consoles are already taken. Apple is already making moves, so Google couldn’t stand on the sidelines.
There aren’t details on the reportedly ongoing Google’s smartwatch, not even the “Nexus” name: don’t be fooled by the header photo, that’s just a non-official prototype on how it could look (but it would be nice this way, wouldn’t it?). Same story for the videogame console that Mountain View could be developing. We are pretty sure though that Mountain View will tend to integrate video games and media streaming in a single device connected to our TV display (maybe a revamped Nexus Q?). Thus, Google TV and Android would be merged somehow to offer a unique gaming and multimedia experience on our telly. Finally, not-such-an-idiot box.