We’ve known that digital goods purveyor amazon was set to reveal its new console soon, though we had no real details of just what the console would be. Rumour suggested it would be an Android-based set-top box that would stream not only games, but movies and TV shows as well. Rumour, this time, was right on the money. Amazon’s new Fire TV happens to be an Android-based set-top box that will stream not only games, but movies and TV shows as well.
It’s teeny tiny, and packs in some pretty impressive specs. Fire TV plugs straight in to your HDTV via HDMI, has 2GB of RAM, a dedicated GPU and a 1.7 Ghz quad-core processor. It packs 8gbs of internal storage. It also has dual-band, dual-antenna WiFi, high definition 1080p video support and outputs Dolby Digital Plus surround sound.
So it’s very much like an Apple TV or Roku – only with much better specifications. For the same price. Amazon’s Fire TV is shipping right now for $99. If you want to get in on the gaming, you’ll have to buy the controller separately, which ships at $39.
Amazon promises that By next month, thousands of games, from developers and publishers like Mojang, Ubisoft and Take-Two will be available to play. Games will largely be priced between $1.85 and $2.
Amazon will also be developing its own games. The company recently purchased Strider reboot and Killer Instinct developer Double Helix, and word is that Portal creator Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 designer Clint Hocking have both joined the company’s games division. It’s even getting its own exclusive games, the first of which is called Sev Zero, and is free with the console. It’s a hybrid tower-defense and third-person shooter.
“In Sev Zero, players can jump between environments—start in tower defense mode to build out towers and assess the surroundings, and then beam down to shooter mode for face-to-face combat against the Ne’ahtu. Players can also bring friends and family into the action with the Sev Zero companion tablet app, Sev Zero: Air Support. With this multi-player, multi-screen experience, players help each other thwart the enemies—one player is in Air Support mode initiating air strikes from their tablet while the other player is in face-to-face combat mode.”
The Fire TV comes with its own remote control, which has voice control, allowing you to search for shows, actors or other meta information using just your beautiful voice.
Media streaming apps headed to the Fire TV include Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon’s own Instant Video with more on the way, like Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, HBO Go, SHO Anytime, Pandora and presumably, even more. .
It’s available to purchase from Amazon right now but they’re not shipping to South Africa at the moment.
Last Updated: April 3, 2014