Yesterday Amazon held their mysterious event which they unveiled the FireTV, a brand new Amazon branded set top box which is expected to bring Amazon’s Prime Video and other streaming services such as Netflix, right into the living room. It sounds pretty good, but you may already have a Chromecast or Apple TV, so what’s so special about the FireTV? It has it’s own gaming controller and will bring handheld gaming to the living room.
Available right now in the US. That’s right, right now, the FireTV hopes to compete against the likes of the Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV bringing it’s own unique features and a pretty affordable price of $99. The FireTV is a tiny powerhouse with a quad-core processor and 2GB RAM which puts it at the same level as a fairly high-end smartphone. Amazon’s Phil Larsen said during the presentation that it’s three times faster than it’s competitors.
Larsen also revealed that “It’s got a ton of content,” and hopes to avoid complaints of a closed ecosystem by pulling in numerous media and gaming partners. Right now some the confirmed media partners are Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, MLB.tv, and the NBA, as for gaming Telltale, Double Helix, and, according to the descrption Mojang, EA, Disney, and Ubisoft are also on board.
At the forefront of the device however is media streaming. The FireTV is capable of streaming your favourite subscription and streaming services at full HD 1080p as well as blasting out Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. Of course it also has Amazon’s Prime Instant Video at the helm offering over 200,000 TV episodes and movies to streamers.
The Amazon FireTV is also voice controlled allowing to to say what you’re looking for rather than fiddling about with controls, there’s no need to shout across the room either as the microphone is built into the tiny remote that comes along with it – a remote which requires no line of sight which means you don’t even have to point the remote at the box!
The Amazon FireTV offers pretty much everything the Kindle Fire HD/HDX has to offer but on the big screen. Movies, Video, Games, Pictures, and Music will all be available to stream through Amazon’s services. You can even use your Kindle Fire tablet to enhance your move watching with the second-screen X-ray feature that throws all the facts and figures about the movie you’re currently watching.
As for gaming, this is an added bonus for the FireTV but it does require you to fork out around $40 for the Amazon Fire Game Controller. This wireless bluetooth controller acts as both a media controller and a gaming peripheral allowing you to get more hands-on with the titles coming to Amazon FireTV such as Minecraft – Pocket Edition, Asphalt 8,and NBA 2K14. Amazon has posted the full list of compatible games here, which include a large number of titles already available on the Amazon App Store – sadly there’s no word on whether the FireTV will work as a game streaming device.
For $99 it’s currently the same price as the Roku and Apple TV, but according to the nifty comparison chart, has much more to offer. For more details and how to buy the FireTV, click here. It’s available to purchase immediately in the US, as for a UK release date nothing has been announced just yet.