Amazon may have its sights set on an Xbox LIVE-like gaming experience for apps on the Kindle Fire, according to a report in Bloomberg. The online retailing giant supposedly plans to announce new social gaming features for Kindle Fire apps sold through the Amazon Appstore for Android. The official announcement of this feature might be just around the corner, with development tools set for release by the end of July, enabling developers to track high scores (e.g. leaderboards) and monitor awards (e.g. achievements).
Apple’s iOS and OS X platforms already include similar features in the Games Center, but when you think of social gaming services, Xbox LIVE always comes to mind. Microsoft pioneered the technology with Xbox, inventing achievements and creating what is, to this day, still an unparalleled service. Xbox LIVE functionality currently exists on Windows Phone and Windows 8, with integration set to improve even further this fall.
The question is whether Amazon’s own gaming service will be enough of a “killer feature” to give it an edge in the tablet market. Google is now taking the Kindle Fire head-on with its Nexus 7 tablet, while Microsoft Surface aims to compete in the high-end market against the iPad. One has to wonder whether Amazon will make its service exclusive to the Kindle Fire, or available on all games purchased through the Amazon Appstore for Android.