Amazon GameCircle challenges Apple Game Center ahead of Kindle phone

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Amazon has launched a synchronized gaming platform for Kindle Fire owners, Amazon GameCircle, challenging Apple's Game Center in the process. GameCircle pulls together achievements into social leaderboards, as well as offering for games what Amazon WhisperSync already does for ebooks: allowing you to pick up where you left off playing when you switch device.

The new Achievements component will track any trophies, treasures, badges and awards that the player has collected. It will support the ability to pause playback and check the achievements summary, then jump back into gameplay; alternatively, the new Sync system will automatically save the current progress and allow the gamer to pick it back up on another Amazon device.

That's likely to come into its own if, as the rumors seem to be building toward, Amazon launches a Kindle smartphone of its own. Then, multi-device synchronization will be particularly important as Amazon weighs into the tablet and phone market currently dominated by iOS and Android devices.

Leaderboards, meanwhile, will show score comparison information and percentile rankings, to quickly highlight how gamers compare with each other. Meanwhile, developer APIs will be available to allow hooking into GameCircle more straightforward; you can sign up for early access here.

Temple Run, Triple Town, Doodle Jump and Collapse! are among the first titles to support Amazon GameCircle.