Amazon finally announced and started selling the the long rumored Fire TV, which is a set top box and casual gaming system. Although it may sound like it lacks specs the device sports 2GB of RAM, a dedicated GPU and a quad-core processor to handle the graphic intensive UI, great games, and play the 1080p video. Amazon isn’t keeping the device a closed garden and in fact encourages developers to port their apps over the the Android powered TV box. The popular apps such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle, Pandora, YouTube are available for download.
The system will also use ASAP to preload videos so there won’t be any buffering or delay between pressing play and the actual video playing. ASAP preloads certain videos based on where you are in the UI. While this will only work with Amazon Prime we could see other apps take advantage of this in the near future. In video demos the Fire TV does not even stutter when moving through the UI and once the play button is press the video plays right away with no delay.
Another key feature Amazon pushed is the ability to search with your voice. The remote has a microphone built right in so you can speak into it to search for TV shows, movies, or other media on the device. In the demo it appears that the mic works very well and can distinguish between background noise and what your trying to search for.
The gaming is supposed to be causal with games like Minecraft headlining the list of games to come. Amazon doesn’t expect mobile versions of games to be ported over only, it has set up a game development studio to create games just for the set top box. The separate gaming controller looks similar to a Xbox 360 controller, and it also has the standard Android buttons. The controller is priced at $39.99 and has pause, play, and fast forward buttons on the controller.
The Fire TV is a premium product, or at least thats how Amazon brands the set top box, and its selling at lower price then it should. The device is priced $99, and considering the speed and what the box can do it is a steal. The Fire TV has to compete with Roku who already has sold thousands of set top boxes. However, Amazon has an advantage because their are millions of Prime subscribers who may want to have a device that works perfectly with their subscription.
Tell us in the comments below what you think of the Fire TV. Also tell us if you would buy one or why you’re going to skip out for now.
Buy now: Amazon Fire TV