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Google game-changers: Firm reportedly developing game console and smartwatch

Tech colossus Google is preparing to up the stakes significantly in its home-grown Android portfolio, if fresh reports emerging from the US are to be believed.

Citing the customary “people familiar with the matter”, the Wall Street Journal says Google is preparing both a brand new game console and a smartwatch, expanding Android’s reach outside the smartphone and tablet arenas.

The sources have described the plans as a pre-emptive move to counter similar releases from Apple, as the battle to dominate the home entertainment and smart device industries intensifies.

Intriguingly, Google is also planning a second launch of its Nexus Q media streaming device according to the reports. Remember that spherical orb unveiled to much ado at the company’s I/O keynote in 2012? The Q quickly slipped to obscurity after Google went quiet on plans to actually release the device, but the WSJ’s sources believe a revival is on the cards.

As revealed in our hands-on last year, the 4.6in sphere weighed in at just under 1kg and let users stream content from Google Play and YouTube to speakers and screens in the home. Nexus Q could be paired with bookshelf speakers via the built-in 25W amp, or connect to an AV receiver or HDTV, but is unknown how close the remodelled device will resemble its unreleased predecessor.

The real game-changers would be the game console and smartwatch, however. Details remain scarce on the devices, but Google is allegedly intent on releasing at least one by Autumn this year.