It’s been rumored for a long time that Amazon was putting together a games machine, and today they finally revealed their new product: the Fire TV.
It’s an all-in-one box that combines streaming and gaming in one very attractive slim box that echoes the PS2 Slim’s sexy lines. There have already been a ton of announcements that have come thick and fast about third part support: Netflix, ESPN, Hulu, Pandora, YouTube, Crackle, Showtime, TuneIn, Pandora, iHeartRadio and VEVO. These (of course) will sit next to Amazon’s own video and music streaming services.
Specs-wise, it’s got a quad-core CPU with 2GB of RAM all squeezed in with HDMI and ethernet ports, perfect for the raft of games that are incoming: a thousand over the next month, apparently. The first exclusive is Sev Zero, a third-person sci-fi tower defense hybrid that actually looks very nice. There’s already a custom build of Minecraft up and running, with lots of third party support promised from companies like Ubisoft and EA. This, along with Amazon recently buying out Killer Instinct developer Double Helix, all points to a real focus of quality games in the Fire’s future. Hopefully.
The most attractive aspect, though, is the aggressive price: in the US, it’s already on sale for $99 with an additional $39 for the game controller (which is probably pretty much essential if you want to use the machine to its fullest). It’s a very tempting prospect and could be the first Android-based TV system to really take hold. It may not be real competition for the PS4/Xbox One generation but, with the right games, there’s a good chance this thing could really take off.
UPDATE: Kotaku are now reporting that Amazon Game Studios has added Kim Swift (creater of Portal) and Clint Hocking (designer of Far Cry 2 and Splinter Cell) to their roster. This expands an already impressive gaming division and I really hope that it translates into something special. For now, here’s a trailer for the Fire TV exclusive Sev Zero: