It was just what we thought it would be, and that’s a good thing. Amazon unveiled its long-rumored set-top box today, and they proved a lot of folks wrong that thought it would just be another streaming dongle. It’s Amazon Fire TV, and it’s a full-fledged streaming device that’s going to compete against Roku and Apple TV.
As expected, the Amazon Fire TV is a set-top box that lets you stream content from providers like Netflix, Hulu+, VEVO, Showtime Anytime, Pandora, Crackle, and a slew of others. If you’re thinking, “nothing new” you’d be right, expect for the fact that’s not all Amazon Fire TV can do.
Many people hoped for gaming capabilities, and those wishes were granted as the Amazon Fire TV will let you play Android games. One can only assume you’ll be tied directly to Amazon’s offerings (no Google Play), but even with a tether attached, they’ve got some good stuff in store.
Minecraft and The Walking Dead are listed compatible games, and more are expected to be on the way soon. Amazon has partnered with people like EA, Disney, and Ubisoft as well, and that controller we showed you a while back was legit, but you can play some games with the included remote just like you can on the Roku.
As for the hardware itself, it’s impressive compared to the competition. Inside that black plastic box you’ll find a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM which is quite a jump from devices like the Roku and Apple TV. The device also has optical audio out and is certified for Dolby Digital Plus, so you videos will sound as good as they look while streaming at 1080p. Did we mention its voice controlled?
In a nutshell, the Amazon Fire TV is the device a lot of people have been waiting for as they’ve managed to do what others have not – include gaming. You can expect the selection to be a little sparse at first, but Amazon plans on having over 1,000 games ready to go next month. The box can stream (almost) everything their competitors can with the only notable missing exception being HBO Go.
If you’re looking to pick up an Amazon Fire TV, you can do so today and it’s only going to set you back $99 bucks while the controller is going for $40. It may not be a true gaming device, but it’s a start and it’s not a stretch to say it won’t be the last set-top box we see this year with gaming capabilities.