After what seems like forever, Amazon has finally announced its set-top box that is designed to compete with Google Chromecast and Apple TV. Amazon's device is called the Fire TV and will only cost $99.99 without some key accessories.
The Amazon Fire TV is an interesting device that promises to bring movies, music, TV shows and video games to the living in a single package. Unlike the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 consoles, the Fire TV is very small, but that might be due to the fact that the internal hardware is similar to a smartphone than anything else.
Users should expect a device that performs better than a Roku or an Apple TV device, since the Fire TV comes packed with a quad core processor, and 2GB of RAM. In addition, there's also a dedicated GPU for video games and smooth video playback.
"Tiny box, huge specs, tons of content, incredible price-people are going to love Fire TV," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO. "Voice search that actually works means no more typing on an alphabet grid. Our exclusive new ASAP feature predicts the shows you'll want to watch and gets them ready to stream instantly. And our open approach gives you not just Amazon Instant Video and Prime Instant Video, but also Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more. On Fire TV you can watch Alpha House and House of Cards."
One great thing about the Fire TV, is its voice recognition feature. Users can speak into the remote bundled with the device to search for whatever content they need. We've seen it in action, and though it does not seem that great, it is still a decent addition to the feature set.
Fire TV for cloud gaming?
Amazon is not just pushing the Fire TV as a platform for streaming videos, music and other content. It's also a video game console, though it is clear it is no match for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or even the Wii U. If online retail giant truly has plans to compete with Microsoft and Sony on the grounds of gaming, then it is possible the company might tap into its cloud infrastructure to deliver graphic intensive games.
We doubt Amazon bought video game developer, Double Helix just to create games that can easily be ported to a smartphone or tablet. With Sony making a hard push with PlayStation Now and Microsoft proving that cloud gaming is possible with Titanfall, it would make perfect sense for Amazon to tap into this market before it takes off.
For gaming, Amazon is selling the controller separate from the Fire TV for $39.99, which is a key accessory if you want to play video games.