Retail giant Amazon has announced its long-awaited games console and media streaming device, Fire TV.
The announcement was made at an event yesterday in New York City. The set-top box boasts the ability to stream movies and TV shows from sites such as YouTube, Netflix and Amazon’s own Instant Video (formerly LoveFilm). However, the recent purchase of Double Helix Games, responsible for the Xbox One exclusive Killer Instinct, hints at the company’s decision to focus on video games as well.
At the press conference, Amazon Fire TV’s design was shown and the hardware specifications were also revealed. The console/media device contains a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM. It will also feature HDMI, ethernet and optical audio ports, yet it will be small enough to fit into your hand. In terms of its operating system, it has been built to run a version of Android. A controller, set to be priced at around $40, will be an additional feature of Fire TV.
However, despite this and word of a possible version of Minecraft being released, Amazon Kindle’s Pete Larsen stated in an interview that the media streaming device “isn’t trying to be a console, but we do think there’s a great opportunity there in between a console and a smartphone for fun, quality games.” He then went on to announce that the Fire TV will not be games console exclusively.
In fact, the device is being touted as a system that will appeal to smartphone and tablet users alike without trying to compete with the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. That said, Amazon has acknowledged that their main competitors for this market are Apple TV and Roku, two other streaming set-top boxes similar to the Fire TV.
The Amazon Fire TV is currently available in the US and is priced at $99 or $139 with the controller.