Amazon raises the bar with GameCircle for Kindle Fire
Amazon's recently introduced GameCircle offers Kindle Fire owners a slew of new gaming options - allowing players to easily keep track of achievements, access leaderboards and sync.
According to company rep Paul Ryder, the recently implemented achievement feature offers players the opportunity to simply track all earned trophies, treasures, badges and awards.
"Players won't have to leave a game to receive messages, get updates or track accolades," he explained.
"They can also pause a game, view an achievements summary, determine what badges are still needed or desired, and then return to gameplay."
Meanwhile, leaderboards provide an in-game view of score comparison information and percentile ranking, enabling players to quickly and easily check standings against other players without ever leaving the game.
And last, but certainly not least, sync automatically saves in-game progress to the cloud, allowing players to pick up exactly where they left off when restoring a deleted game or switching between devices. The online retail giant has also rolled out a series of APIs for devs to add GameCircle to their apps, with additional developer information available here.
Amazon's decision to introduce GameCircle with sync at this juncture is anything but arbitrary, as the Seattle-based corporation is reportedly prepping at least three new Fire devices for launch later this fall.
According to Richard Shim of NPD DisplaySearch, there will be at least three new iterations of the "Kindle Fire 2," and perhaps even a fourth as Amazon may be be readying an 8.9-inch Fire tablet with 1920 x 1200 resolution for Q4 2012.
In the meantime, says Shim, Amazon is prepping three new Kindle Fire tablets with 7-inch screens weighing in at various resolutions: 1024 x 600 (no camera), 1280 x 800 (with camera), 1280 x 800 (includes camera and 4G connectivity).
Although detailed specs haven't been officially confirmed by the retail giant, most industry watchers expect the devices to be powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor or a TI OMAP chip. Screen pixel density would likely be set at 216 pixels per inch, the same as Google's Nexus 7, but still significantly lower than Apple's flagship (new) iPad.
Pricing will likely hover around the current $200 and scale up depending on specs, with one report claiming the first edition of Amazon's Kindle Fire may drop to a reduced price of $150.