It has been long rumoured, but Amazon has finally pulled the veil off its Amazon set-top box streaming device, which they have dubbed the Amazon Fire TV.
The set top box will take competition directly to Apple and Roku with their existing streaming devices, as well as the recent Chromecast and other streaming HDMI dongles. However one of the differences that the Fire TV box will have is a focus on Android based gaming, as a separate Amazon Fire TV controller remote can also be purchased.
This means that games can be played on your TV through the box, and Amazon have already lined up a host of great games suppliers, including: Ubisoft, Double Fine, Telltale Games, EA, Disney, Sega, and Gameloft all of which will be bringing games to the system in the next month.
Son Plants vs Zombies on the big screen, or maybe Angry Birds: Star Wars, it’ll all be available in your front room. it’s not just mobile based games coming to the device though, as HD gaming is also on the way with Minecraft, The Walking Dead, NBA 2K14 all slated for release.
The streaming side of the device will also offer a great choice, as Amazon are not just limiting their users to the Amazon owned LOVEFiLM service (or Amazon Prime Instant Video) , as Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and ESPN ( US ONLY) will all be available with more services coming after that.
There is also Music Streaming from the likes of Pandora, iHeartRadio, and your Amazon library will also be available on the Fire TV, plus with the connection of Amazon’s Cloud Drive app you can also look at photos and files on your TV.
The basic Amazon Fire TV is on sale for $99 in the States from April the 2nd (so yesterday) and this bundle gets you the set top box and TV remote. The Gaming remote control can be purchased separately for $39.99 from amazon too.
And here is Gary Busey introducing the Fire TV!:
Amazon seem to be keen to push the gaming aspect of the Set-Top box too as they have said they will be developing its own games for Fire TV and Kindle Fire, starting with Sev Zero, a tower defence come shoot-em-up game with multi-player features.
The Kindle Fire TV is powered by the Android OS, but as with the Kindle Fire tablets range, this isn’t immediately noticeable as the user interface is all Amazon. The main UI automatically shows content from Amazon, with links to the Home, Movies, TV, Watchlist, Video Library, Games, Apps, Photos, and Settings on the left side.
For Parents, there is also a Freetime mode which changes the theme for the UI and locks the area within a password for full parental control. Plus Freetime mode offers a parents the ability set viewing and usage timers for Kids, as per the Kindle Fire devices.
The actual hardware is pretty good for the sub $100 price too as it holds a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a dedicated graphics card plus with the Amazon Fire TV remote, a mic is built in so instead of painfully long searching, users can searching for content by just speaking into the Fire TV’s remote.
Finally all video and audio will be delivered in 1080p with Dolby Digital Plus Surround Sound via HDMI- and optical-out ports, and the boxes are connected via dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi or through an Ethernet port.
The amazon Kindle Fire is available in the US only at this time, but hopefully it will be released worldwide in the coming months.