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Why Did Amazon Hire A Top Xbox Executive?

by Sean P. Aune | September 11, 2010September 11, 2010 2:00 pm PST

There are constantly mysterious happenings in the technology world, but every once in a while one comes along that is so bizarre that you just have to go, “Wha…?”

It was reported earlier this week that Amazon has hired Andre Vrignaud, Microsoft’s (now) former director of game platform strategy.  Last time we checked, Amazon doesn’t have a video game system, and the Kindle isn’t exactly a mobile gaming platform, so what the heck is the largest online retailer up to?

Amazon KindleMr. Vrignaud, who has spent 20 years in the video game industry, said on his personal blog, “I make this announcement with mixed emotions as I’m excited about where Microsoft is going in the next few years as they look to reinvent digital entertainment… but I’m also obviously very intrigued about what Amazon is looking to do.”

Some have been suggesting that it will be online gaming, but I’m thinking that this has something to do with a future version of the Kindle.

As tablets are popping up left and right, the idea of dedicated e-readers is going to become quickly out dated concept.  Kindle has become somewhat of its own worst enemy by releasing great looking Kindle apps for just about every mobile platform, so it has quickly become a question of “why” when people consider buying an Amazon-branded e-reader.

Essentially, the Kindle is going to have to evolve to survive, and mobile gaming is definitely one of the hottest things out there right now.  If Amazon can come up with a tablet of its own, with some great looking games, it can extend its initial forays into producing its own hardware products.

Of course, I could be totally wrong in my speculation, but online gaming just seems like such an odd direction for Amazon to go into.

What say you?  Where do you think Amazon is going with this?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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