While we still don't have the Amazon Kindle Fire here in the UK, the launch of Amazon's GameCircle social gaming service should be of interest to anyone who's used Apple's Game Center and wondered when the idea would catch on.
Amazon GameCircle is a social gaming hub aimed at enhancing the experience of playing games on the Kindle Fire - which, of course, runs on a heavily modified version of the Android OS.
Like Apple's Game Center for iPhone and iPad, it'll allow Kindle Fire gamers to unlock, track and compare achievements and leaderboards online. Of even more use will be the ability to save your game's progress to the cloud, meaning you don't have to start from scratch every time you delete a game or switch to a new device.
GameCircle doesn't appear to go quite as far as Apple's Game Center offering on the social front, though. You can't track what your friends are playing, and you can't initiate multiplayer games from within the hub. Still, it's a start.
Games on the Amazon store must be specifically modified by developers in order to make use of these new features, but there are already 15 titles on the US-only Amazon Appstore sporting GameCircle compatibility. These include such well-known hits as Temple Run and Doodle Jump - both of which thrive on high-score one-upmanship.
Of course, we'll have to patiently await the launch of the Kindle Fire (or its follow-up) in the UK before we can take advantage of GameCircle features, but it should at the very least place the pressure on Google's Android team to hurry up with its own online social gaming service for the Google Nexus 7.