confirmed today one of the worst-kept secrets in the industry, which is that the company now has its own streaming
set top box. It’s called the Amazon Fire TV, and true to the rumors, it offers streaming TV and movies as well as games.
“Fire TV is a tiny box that plugs into your HDTV. It's the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, low-cost video rentals, and more,” reads the announcement. You can also stream music from the likes of Pandora, iHeartRadio, and more.
One of the Fire TV’s premier selling points is voice search; instead of doing that awful one-letter-at-a-time pecking that you have to do on most remote controls, you can just talk to the remote control itself, using keywords such as a title, actor name, or genre.
There’s also an efficient feature called ASAP that predicts what content you might be interested in and cues them up for you so that you won’t experience buffering.
However, perhaps the most important feature of the Fire TV is gaming, as that differentiates this product from so many others. In addition to titles such as Minecraft-Pocket Edition, Asphalt 8, and others, Amazon already has an exclusive title called Sev Zero (a game in which you fight off aliens). Amazon has also seen fit to create its own Fire Game Controller, which is sold separately.
Under the hood, the Amazon Fire TV runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon
8064 SoC with a Krait 300 GPU. There’s 8GB of internal storage, 2GB of LPDDR2 (533 MHz) RAM, and WiFi, and it supports up to 1080p HD output at 60fps.
The Amazon Fire TV costs $99, and it’s available starting today.