We've heard rumors for months about an Amazon set-top box or console, and recently saw some very convincing leaked images of an Amazon controller. All the rumor and speculation ends today, however, because Amazon is now shipping the Fire TV, their new set top box that will stream your media and play games.

What's more, Amazon has formed Amazon Game Studios to develop games for the device. One game, out now, is called Sev Zero and looks like a pretty good shooter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXI898kyBgM

It's pretty impressive to me that they managed to keep an entire game studio secret for long enough to pull this off.

The FireTV itself will set you back $99, and the controller (sold separately) is $40.

Read more about the Fire TV here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CX5P8FC/

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/02/2014 at 09:21pm

This is huge. I would expect Apple to follow suit, probably as early as this fall. I'm really surprised (and disappointed) that Apple didn't do this first, actually. They've had everything in place for years. Now Amazon has the infrastructure, hardware, and customer base, to be one of the hottest thing in home entertainment (no pun intended). If it works. I like the idea of the mic on the remote. Looks like it has double the gpu power that the Ouya has, too. Very, very interesting.

AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 04/02/2014 at 10:05pm

Eh, I don't know how well this is going to do. It's interesting as a media device, but with more and more TV's being "smart," most of the features of the box are being built directly into TV's. And as far as games, I think the kid who gets this as a game system will feel like the kids back in the 80's who got a VTech Socrates rather than a Nintendo.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/03/2014 at 04:05am

@scrypt I agree. I expected Apple to do this first so it's cool and strange to see Amazon head in. That said, I am happy they have as this set top box is the most powerful of the bunch and I hope it sparks a "cheaper set top box spec war."

@Adym It isn't the greatest offering as far as games go right now for sure. That said, over time I imagine more developers will port games over and things should work pretty well. Amazons Android store isn't too bad and it's catalog of games is growing. It hits the right price point and has enough power to play some games. That said, this ain't gonna run BioShock Infinite.

Orionnoir wrote on 04/03/2014 at 03:18pm

Well maybe its because Apple 'sort of' did this... e.g., AppleTv + Airplay? I push whatever I am playing to it at times. Ironically just to record videos for demos... I don't really use it for anything but capturing a stream now that I think about it. I did demo a few games to my kids with it. Ok so maybe its not even remotely a single purpose console device experience. But my point is Apple might feel like they already HAVE entered the market... That is a very un-researched opinion. I do believe Apple is a horribly small company for the revenue stream they achieve. And at times it feels like they are holding this stuff together with bailing wire and duct tape. Covered in a a very pretty surface layer... but underneath there is chaos and hell chained with fury and just waiting to crack the surface and spew forth its vitriol onto the consumer or developer in some fashion if allowed.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/04/2014 at 12:28am

Apple does have Apple TV for sure and like you say you can fling stuff from your iPad, iPhone and Mac to it. I think what we were talking about it not doing was having an app store and official controller. Right now you just get the apps it comes with, which is nice BUT no app store. So for me, it seems like Apple is right on the line of having something that could be WAY better.

On thing that keeps me away from the Apple option is I serve all my media off a NAS. Apple TV requires you fling content on it through the iPhone through AirPlay. If Apple TV had an app store I could use my NAS and uPNP.

Travis   Admin   Post Author wrote on 04/04/2014 at 01:15am

One thing you can do is configure something else to act as an Airplay server. It's a little cumbersome, I've never done it, so I don't know how predictable it is.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 04/04/2014 at 01:16am

As far as serving media, Apple TV primarily works through iTunes on a network Mac/PC. iOS apps require mirroring from an iPhone or iPad. Like you say, Jon, without access to native, downloadable apps, it is quite lacking compared to a Roku or Fire TV. That said, I love my Apple TV, and hope that, someday, Apple sees it's full potential. I hope the Fire TV will do just that. I tried Airplay once for gaming, and it's not optimal, or even playable. They have much work to do.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 04/04/2014 at 01:19am

Airplay is great for Apple gear and I love the idea, I just hope it becomes a more open standard so you don't need to only use Apple stuff with it.

That said, if Apple TV got the full app store treatment i'd be more down with it so I can use non-Apple internal file sharing and such. But as is, it's kind of Apple only and whereas I do use iTunes, my NAS is always on for the reason of file sharing, I don't need to have my laptop on for it to magically work, Apple just makes me have use it.

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