If Amazon is trying to keep its new streaming box under wraps, it's not doing a very good job. The Internet has already gotten its hands on scads of information about the device, and now comes word of of a new gaming controller for it. And it's one of the most convoluted things we've seen in recent memory.
The alleged leaked photos come by way of tech blog Zatz Not Funny! According to Zatz, Amazon has had to clear its box with overseas content regulation agencies. Why Zatz was able to acquire pictures of the controller but not the box itself remains unclear.
The controller itself is something of a monstrosity. The peripheral appears to be huge and blocky, replete with a dizzying array of buttons. In addition to the standard A, B, X, Y, dual-analog stick and D-pad setup, the controller features two sets of shoulder buttons, four navigation buttons in the center, and three media control buttons on the bottom.
Six of the seven unusual buttons are self-evident: back, home, options, play/pause, rewind and fast-forward. The button in the dead-center of the controller is not as straightforward.
If the analog buttons are clickable, this would give the device an unprecedented 21 buttons. If Amazon is hoping to target a non-gamer audience with its streaming box, its controller seems more likely to scare them off than welcome them with open arms.
Beyond the device's questionable design, Zatz claims that the device will function via Bluetooth, and will take two AA batteries rather than using a rechargeable one. Consumers would have to purchase the controller separately from the streaming box, and the peripheral would also function with Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets. It's not clear whether the device would work as an all-purpose Android controller.
The controller could still be a good peripheral, but its design raises a few questions — and eyebrows. If Amazon wants to use its streaming box as an entry point into the gaming space, one of the least comfortable-looking and most complicated controllers on the market is a strange way to do it.