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Amazon Fire TV is a $99 game and movie streaming device

Wednesday, 2nd April 2014 16:19 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Amazon has announced its game and movie streaming device, after rumors of its development for what seems like months.

amazxon fire tv

Gaming and specs

Fire TV plugs into your HDTV, has 2GB of RAM, a dedicated GPU similar to those found in smartphones, and a quad-core processor. It also has dual-band, dual-antenna WiFi, high definition 1080p video and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.

It has three times more power than the competition such as Apple TV, Roku and is as tall as a dime, according to Amazon.

Fire TV includes full games support. According to Larsen, game consoles are priced too high.

Mike Frazzini from Amazon Games took the stage to discuss the developers on board with Fire TV, including Mojang, Ubisoft and Take-Two. By next month, thousands of games will be available to play.

Minecraft Pocket Edition, Gameloft’s Asphalt 8 was shown, as was Monsters University and The Walking Dead, and 2K’s NBA 2K14.

Earlier, it was reported in the live blog that a Fire TV specific version of Minecraft was coming to the system. Mojang told VG247 that Minecraft Pocket edition “is the version that’s playable on the Fire TV.”

Amazon’s also making games, one of which is called Sev Zero, a third-person shooter developed through the firm’s internal game developments studio. More than a dozen games are in the works at Amazon.

The average price of games will run between $1.85 and $2. You can play games with the remote or using the Amazon Game Controller, which will run $39.99, includes Amazon Coins to get you started.

The Fire TVis remote controlled and has a microphone embedded for voice search “that actually works.” Users can search for media by actor, title or genre.

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Other apps and features

The main screen TV features: Home, Movies, TV, Watchlist, Video Library, Games, Apps, Photos, and Settings, according to Engadget.

Fire TV is Android and HTML based, allows porting of apps, and the main streaming services are Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video with more on the way. The latter will also receive 10 original shows.

Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, HBO Go, SHO Anytime, Pandora, RedBull TV and others will be released on the device as well. It includes instant access to over 200,000 TV episodes and movies, allowing users to “watch what they want, when they want.”

Amazon Prime members will be granted unlimited access to thousands of popular movies and TV shows, including exclusives. An exclusive new feature called ASAP predicts what movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly.

Photos taken with your smartphone can also be loaded to Amazon Cloud and loaded onto Fire TV.

A second screen option called X-ray was shown, and it seems to work similar to Microsoft’s SmartGlass as users can start watching something on Fire TV and pick up where they left off on a tablet.

Fire TV was announced by Kindle VP Peter Larsen during Engadget’s live blog of the event.

Amazon Fire TV will run you $99 and is available from today.

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45 Comments

  1. Mike W

    hmmmm….interesting

    #1 6 months ago
  2. Michael Ireland

    Consumers will be all over this as long as it’s priced well. Knowing Amazon, it probably will be.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. papizdano

    and the games ?

    #3 6 months ago
  4. Mike W

    @papizdano

    I don’t think the games are going to be worth it.

    #4 6 months ago
  5. Michael Ireland

    @Mike W That hasn’t stopped people on Android and iOS lapping them up like crazy, with profits that out dedicated hardware to shame.

    In ten years there won’t be any dedicated devices beyond PCs for power user and designers. It will be all about how much you can do with a single piece of technology.

    While there’s certainly still some demand for core games, it’s an ever shrinking niche in an ever more expensive market.

    #5 6 months ago
  6. PEYJ

    “It has three times more power than the competition”..

    What?

    #6 6 months ago
  7. Mike W

    @PEYJ

    Apple TV and Roku

    #7 6 months ago
  8. hadamrw

    I don’t fully understand these types of products. Are they meant for the people who don’t have access to Netflix/Amazon/Other Apps through a gaming console?

    #8 6 months ago
  9. PEYJ

    @ Mike W

    Ahh… thanks.

    #9 6 months ago
  10. Mike W

    @hadamrw

    Probably for people looking for an “all one device” at a cheap price.

    #10 6 months ago
  11. Mike W

    @Michael Ireland

    Good point.

    #11 6 months ago
  12. kingy

    Interesting and looks good lets see how this plays out

    #12 6 months ago
  13. Stephany Nunneley

    BTW that was Minecraft Pocket Edition shown, not a Fire TV specific version as was reported in the live blog.

    #13 6 months ago
  14. fearmonkey

    Apple could have owned this if they would have made Apple TV with Iphone or Ipad parts. Now they have let a competitor arrive first with a product they could made easily first.

    Not sure if the market will be huge for these, and even if they do sell like hotcakes, if games are going to be a big factor on them. The fact the controller is not included and an extra $40 might mean that many people that get one of these wont pick up the controller.

    I have heard rumors of AppleTV doing the same, but it hasnt happened yet. I wonder if this device would bite into AppleTV sales.

    #14 6 months ago
  15. mistermogul

    I’m sure Sony/Nintendo/MS are keeping a close eye on this!

    #15 6 months ago
  16. Panthro

    Might get one of these to play some 1080p games. lol.

    #16 6 months ago
  17. game_on

    At least now we can be sure that the current gen of consoles actually ís the last one.
    This kind of device is the near future, I’m sure.

    #17 6 months ago
  18. mistermogul

    @game_on – I don’t think this device is really that different to current gen systems…

    Plays games – check
    Apps – check
    Streaming – check

    The future is already here!

    #18 6 months ago
  19. game_on

    @mistermogul
    It’s the streaming part I meant, but after looking into it, it seams that all it streams is movies, not games. So I was a little rash I guess.

    #19 6 months ago
  20. Panthro

    @mistermogul

    Front rooms will be filled with devices/ a device like these in the future.

    Everyday people (not gamers) want a device like this but they just don’t know it yet.
    Paying 400$ for a console just for your kids to play some 40$ a pop games and watch some netflix is a bit of a rip off.
    This is sort of like the Wii, only families and parents who don’t want there kids being sucked into ‘console games’… See what I’m saying? I worded it terribly but I know.
    My grandmother would love one of these, a little game station for the kids and a box to stream all the content she likes to watch.

    #20 6 months ago
  21. Dark

    Ouya 2 confirmed,incoming flop.

    #21 6 months ago
  22. mistermogul

    @Panthro – yeah good point.

    I suppose the main difference with this to current gen, like you say, is price. This has a mass market price.

    Having said that PS3/360 are quite cheap these days. I wonder if this will force MS/Sony into cutting the price of those…

    #22 6 months ago
  23. mistermogul

    @Dark – lol, that’s a bit harsh!

    Thing is Ouya didn’t have Amazon behind it!

    #23 6 months ago
  24. Mike W

    @mistermogul

    Literally…..it’s already out.

    #24 6 months ago
  25. Panthro

    @mistermogul

    I know I would prefer my kids to be spending hours at time playing Super Mario on an emulator/ Plants Vs Zombies 3/ [Insert kids mobile game here] for like 1$-3$ a pop and most of the time even free rather than spending 40$ per game on game on a console which doesn’t really cater to kids.
    There are kids games on console but the mobile market is ripe with kids games, and my little sister (8) spends more time on my Fire HD and iPad than she does on her PS4/PS3 (her game library is around 15-20 kids games) she just prefers mobile games way more.

    #25 6 months ago
  26. Dragon

    Judging how it performs, Sony would launch PS Vita TV, I would assume the announcement will come at E3. Its also about 99$.
    When that comes, the comparison will be intriguing, since Vita TV will probably have better games support (as of now), and Fire TV will be a better all-rounder (Amazon duh).

    Really Sony, bring that Vita TV fast.

    #26 6 months ago
  27. Panthro

    @Dragon

    The Kindle Fire TV will have way more support if it is running on Android, which I very much assume it is.

    #27 6 months ago
  28. Dragon

    @Panthro,
    Mobile android game vs. Console quality games + best indie ones
    Choice is yours.
    Btw, Vita already has over 700 games, most of which are way above the quality of mobile ones (PSX, PSP, Vita games)

    #28 6 months ago
  29. Mike W

    @Dragon

    I think if Sony advertise the PSV TV with the PS4, it will move a couple of units.

    #29 6 months ago
  30. TheKeyPit

    I can only smile about how the controller looks similar to the xbox one controller :D

    #30 6 months ago
  31. Dragon

    @Mike W,
    $400+$100 = bigger sale?
    I don’t think so.
    I think they have to market it the same way as Amazon is doing. Although it would be interesting if Amazon allows its services on Vita TV or not. Vita TV would be much less appealing product without Amazon offerings for many people.

    #31 6 months ago
  32. salarta

    I can see many people buying this, mainly for the Amazon Prime use. It’s cheaper than any other consoles, and it means a much easier way of hooking up to TV.

    The more fascinating thing to me is that it comes off like a superior product in the exact same area Microsoft was hoping to sell people on with the XBox One. Voice control? Got it. Various video services? Got it. Games? Got it. They even have SmartGlass functionality, and all of this comes at a much cheaper price point. The graphical power angle for video games is something only a subset of dedicated gamers care about.

    I wouldn’t say this has a chance at replacing Nintendo by any means, because this is clearly treating games as secondary and video as its main feature. Aside from XBox One, if looking at game consoles, it has more in common with the CD-I than anything else. Still, it’s an important new player, mainly in terms of risks to Microsoft’s sales and place in the market than anyone else. Nintendo and Sony have nothing to worry about here.

    #32 6 months ago
  33. BrokenSpline

    @salarta

    “I can see many people buying this, mainly for the Amazon Prime use. ”

    It doesn’t offer much at all. I have amazon prime on all my devices roku, ps3, PS4 and PC. What does it offer that differentiates that from those for Prime users?

    “Amazon Prime members will be granted unlimited access to thousands of popular movies and TV shows, including exclusives. An exclusive new feature called ASAP predicts what movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly.”

    Oh it already gets ready to stream the stuff I already watch. I already have access to all those videos on all those devices.

    http://media.tumblr.com/88e99fd0c788948e672152c16da49d50/tumblr_inline_mmlixpzH551qz4rgp.gif

    #33 6 months ago
  34. Michael Ireland

    @BrokenSpline You might, but there is a huge audience of people out there who will lap thid up just to have this on their TVs.

    #34 6 months ago
  35. BrokenSpline

    @Michael Ireland

    “You might, but there is a huge audience of people out there who will lap thid up just to have this on their TVs.”

    Have what? I am talking about salarta point of prime users going after it for its features which are nothing but caching shows you watch already so when you load the device its ready to go. THat really doesn’t benefit anyone unless you have such shitty ass internet but if that is the case you wouldn’t be going after a streaming device.

    All of their videos you have access to on pretty much all devices except for android but there are workarounds.

    As far this particular device goes the only real differentiator is being able to play games. If it came between amazon or roku 3. I would probably go for amazon just because of having access to some games even if it never gets fleshed out but if that isn’t your point of a streaming device there really is no difference between a roku 2, LT or media sticks like Chromecast, miracast or rokus new media streaming stick which are half the price and offer the same streaming apps if not more.

    #35 6 months ago
  36. Gheritt White

    At that price, this is sure to do well.

    However developing games for it isn’t quite as simple as pushing your Android game to the device – Amazon is operating a closed system/walled garden type affair, so even Google Play games need to be ported, which incurs a dev cost.

    Still, for everyone who’s content with games like Deus Ex: The Fall being the most they can expect from their videogame experiences in terms of 3D graphical fiedlity, this is pretty much a no-brainer, IMHO.

    #36 6 months ago
  37. dtyk

    Late to the game…?

    I feel that this is redundant considering you already have Apple TV, Roku 2, Chrome Cast, and even Vita TV, all of which have similar features but unique strengths to stand out.

    #37 6 months ago
  38. salarta

    @BrokenSpline But you’re not everyone else. There are a lot of people that do NOT have video game consoles, or at least ones that they would want to use for Amazon Prime. Even if they did, this is a system that’s dedicated to Amazon’s offerings first, meaning it’ll be faster and easier to access Amazon Prime than it would be for other systems.

    #38 6 months ago
  39. Hyperx64

    Another cheap plastic box full of crap… what a joke!

    #39 6 months ago
  40. Hyperx64

    I refute the claim that “people” only wan’t cheap plastic shit. If price is an issue get a Raspberry Pi and load the software that you want to use.

    #40 6 months ago
  41. BrokenSpline

    @salarta

    “But you’re not everyone else. There are a lot of people that do NOT have video game consoles, or at least ones that they would want to use for Amazon Prime. Even if they did, this is a system that’s dedicated to Amazon’s offerings first, meaning it’ll be faster and easier to access Amazon Prime than it would be for other systems.”

    What the bloody hell are you talking about? Did I ever mention anything about this vs consoles? Also it is stupidly easy to access amazon instant on roku and any device that it is on natively. You click and there you are. Roku has a god damn button for it. Roku has a search function that works fantastic on all channels you have on it. Amazon is late to the game. The market is saturated with streaming devices the only thing this offers is allowing you to play mobile games on the TV screen and as one of the previous commenters says devs still have to port their mobile games over to this device because Amazon doesn’t exactly use the same android as smartphone uses but a forked version which is android like OS but not really.

    If someone is now in the market for a streaming device and going for the 100$ device they have a contender and the better choice is amazon. But if you are like most people you already have a streaming device which this offers very little towards them. The only people I honestly see going for this are those that have a kindle fire.

    #41 6 months ago
  42. salarta

    @BrokenSpline Out of the four devices you mentioned, two of them were consoles. One of them is PC which is the most basic and obvious way of viewing Amazon Prime films, making the consoles predominant in your argument.

    This gets back to the whole Roku thing. That’s a device you use. It’s not a device everyone uses. It may have a lot of marketing out there to push it, but at the end of the day, it’s not ubiquitous. You attempt addressing this to an extent by saying there are other streaming devices out there, but the existence of such devices does not mean those devices have any meaningful presence in that way, and some of them, like your PC example, aren’t even ones that utilize a TV in any kind of easy way. iPhones are nearly ubiquitous. Computers are nearly ubiquitous. Streaming devices that use the TV in a cheap and easy fashion are not. And even if they were, Amazon Prime memberships would easily translate to heightened interest in Fire TV itself.

    We’ll see though. It’s for sale right now, we’re sure to find out how its initial sales went very soon.

    #42 6 months ago
  43. Gheritt White

    @Hyperx64 Apples != oranges, douchebag.

    #43 6 months ago
  44. BrokenSpline

    @salarta

    ” like your PC example, aren’t even ones that utilize a TV in any kind of easy way. ”

    I named a few those weren’t the only devices. There are chromecast, miracast, allcast if you have a samsung TV and most TVs now have it in it natively and inexpensive ones at that.

    “And even if they were, Amazon Prime memberships would easily translate to heightened interest in Fire TV itself.”

    Not really as I stated there are TVs, streaming sticks, current and last gen consoles, roku devices, you can even hook up a tablet to your TV, most TVs now have amazon on it natively.

    There is nothing that this devices offers anything different than any of those devices besides gaming that it is it.

    http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/pc-mac/networking-and-wi-fi/media-streaming-devices?page=2&page=1

    Just look at that link and that is from half a year ago there have been numerous devices coming out practically monthly. They are dirt cheap to produce.

    “That’s a device you use. It’s not a device everyone uses. It may have a lot of marketing out there to push it, but at the end of the day, it’s not ubiquitous.”

    You have proof of this claim. You go to any review for what is the best media streaming device to get and I bet Roku would be at the top.

    “Amazon Prime memberships would easily translate to heightened interest in Fire TV itself.”

    Again not really they aren’t offering anything unique to those that are already prime members other than pre-caching the shows you watch on to it which as I said is not needed unless you have shitty internet.

    “We’ll see though. It’s for sale right now, we’re sure to find out how its initial sales went very soon.”

    Not really as Amazon doesn’t release that info out to the public. But hey, thanks for playing.

    #44 6 months ago
  45. BrokenSpline

    @BrokenSpline

    Damn didn’t notice I posted the same quote. Eh, you get the gist.

    #45 6 months ago

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