Amazon has made its big play for the TV market with a new device that will compete aggressively with the Apple TV and the Google Chromecast.
The move will bring Amazon’s vast library of 200,000 TV shows and movie content directly to the living room to rent or buy.
The slim device – about the standard size of a CD case – contains a quad-core CPU with 2GB of RAM. It also has dual-band Wi-Fi for streaming content to any device in the home.
It is designed to perform almost instantaneous streaming of any video in the library.
The Fire TV is understood to be the product of four years of R&D.
The device comes with a Bluetooth remote control and Amazon claims it is three times more powerful than Apple’s self-described favourite ‘hobby’, the Apple TV.
‘Voice search that actually works’
The Fire TV is understood to support Netflix and Hulu and can stream content such as photos and videos from the cloud onto a TV screen.
“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.”
Fire TV is available starting today for US$99 from Amazon.com.
Game on! Amazon’s Fire TV will be capable of playing video games
Amazon Game Studios also introduced Sev Zero, the Studios’ first game built from the ground up for Fire TV.
Sev Zero is available $6.99 or for free with the purchase of a Fire game controller.
“We’ve heard from customers that they want more from the games they play on streaming media devices—games that are rich, unique and immersive. Sev Zero is the first step by Amazon Game Studios to address that challenge,” said Mike Frazzini, Vice President, Amazon Games.
“We think customers will be surprised by how much fun they can have playing games on such a tiny, yet powerful, device in Fire TV. Sev Zero is our first of several games in development and provides a peek into what’s to come from Amazon Game Studios.”