Google-From-Gaming-Watches-GlassesSince its release in 2008, Google’s Android operating system has taken the mobile device market by storm. Statista.com reports that the number of Android users has outstripped users of competing operating systems since late 2010, representing nearly 75% of devices purchased in the first quarter of 2013. Now, sources familiar with Google’s development team have stated that the company plans to launch an Android-powered videogame console and wristwatch, according to the Wall Street Journal. The entry of Google into the gaming marketplace could significantly change the company’s ability to connect with consumers.

Growing Focus on New Devices

Although Google began as a search engine company, the corporation has repeatedly signaled its interest in expanding beyond search functionalities. In early 2011, company founder Larry Page became CEO, indicating Google’s readiness to return to its entrepreneurial roots, according to Forbes. An Android-powered gaming console called Ouya - developed by an independent team of gaming experts - was released in June 2013. However, reviews of the device have been poor, according to PCMag (4).

Now, Google intends to build its own gaming console running Android, a move that is hotly anticipated by gamers and industry experts. It also plans to release a new version of its media streaming device, Nexus Q. Like Google TV, this device works well with traditional cable and satellite providers, so retailer sites like http://www.directstartv.org will likely support its use.

In order to keep up with competitor Apple, the Wall Street Journal reports that Google will also create an Android smartwatch. Specific details about these devices are still forthcoming, as the products are in development. However, Google is expected to release at least one of the products in time for the 2013 holiday season.

Google’s Past Attempts to Gain Market Share

A gaming console is not Google’s first attempt to move beyond its roots as a search engine company. Google Fiber is an initiative bringing blazing fast Internet connections to your home, featuring download speeds of up to 1 Gbps, dozens of times faster than many connections, reports Forbes. Although Google Fiber is only being offered to a select number of cities, the service is expected to expand to the rest of the country within a few years.

Also gaining media attention is Google Glass, the company’s high-tech eyewear. These sleek glasses bring the Internet into your field of view, seamlessly integrating the web into your everyday life. Although prices remain high, consumers are excited about this new way to interact with online content, according to Tech Radar.

The Big Picture: What Does This Mean for the Future of Google?

At this point, it’s safe to say that Google is no longer just a search engine company. By expanding its domain to cloud computing, gaming, software, media streaming, and provision of Internet services, the company is trying to become the biggest name in Internet-based tech. Although its Android operating system is expected to remain open source, Google has signaled increased interest in building its own devices, rather than relying on third parties to create Android gadgets. Expect the company to continue moving in this direction, building new platforms and extending its reach into all aspects of tech.