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Amazon has been keeping tight on some big news till now. Today they finally unveiled the FireTV, their new device that will compete with the likes of Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. Besides support from the apps you expect such as Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and Hulu Plus, Amazon FireTV has a big focus on games as well. While the system itself costs $99, the same as Apple TV and Roku, you can also buy a controller for another $40. The controller also includes Sev Zero for free and also $10 of Amazon credit.
The Amazon FireTV runs on it’s own version of Android and a variety of developers/publishers are already on board with this new system from today’s console world. Ubisoft, EA, 2K, Sega, Gameloft, and Disney are some of the big publishers supporting the FireTV while developers such as Double Fine and TellTale Games are also making games for it. During their press conference earlier today, a new Asphalt racer was demoed as well as Minecraft, as if this behemoth is already on so many other systems by now. Pricing for games on the store range from free to as cheap as $1.85. The controller itself reminds me of the Xbox 360/One controllers but with more buttons for playback when watching TV, movies, or YouTube videos. Some games will also have Kindle support for a second-screen experience, as seen in the image below.
Voice support is also added to the FireTV by speaking into the controller to limit all the searching through various menus. Amazon also announced FreeTime for the FireTV which is designed for kids as parents can customize screen limits through personalized profiles. Besides working for games, the second-screen experience with Kindle Fire tablets also works for movies and TV shows. For a complete comparison chart of what the FireTV offers from it’s competition, check it out here.
Amazon’s big announcement today provides a big change to this media player space as Apple’s big competition now. Especially with a big focus on games with support by gaming’s known publishers/developers, if the FireTV is successful with these games out of the gate, this might cause Apple to follow suit and finally allow games support for the Apple TV. Sure, those with Xbox Ones, Playstation 4s, and Wii Us will still play games there, but the FireTV as a significant cheaper option to play games can also shift things up for gaming in general compared to recent flops such as the Ouya. The Amazon FireTV is still in stock for now and costs $99.
Will Amazon’s FireTV be a game changer not only in the media player space, but also gaming? Let us know in the comments below.