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Amazon Launches Streaming TV and Gaming Set-Top Box

A photo showing the Amazon Fire TV interface
Sean Fang Fri, 04/04/2014 - 23:01

Amazon has launched an Android powered set-top box in an attempt to shake up the media streaming market. The Fire TV, retailing for just $99.99, can also be paired with an optional game controller to allow big screen gaming, with thousands of Android based games set to be available in the coming month.

Despite Amazon having their own subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) streaming service, the Fire TV will support most streaming apps, including Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube. The Android powered (but heavily modified) device will also let users access apps, photos and music.

A $39.99 Fire TV game controller can be added to allow for easier gameplay, with thousands of games expected to be available next month for around $1.85 each. Game titles include Minecraft, The Walking Dead and NBA 2K14.

The 1080p device includes built-in dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi, as well as an Ethernet port for a more reliable connection. The quad-core device, running on 2GB of RAM, will only come with 8GB of storage space.

During the launch of the product, Amazon highlighted search methods as being a key problem with current streaming boxes, and to that end, Amazon have included voice search technology to make finding content easier. Amazon also touted the device's open ecosystem, due to the reliance on the open sourced Android platform.

The Fire TV is currently only available in the U.S., for $99.99 and includes 30-day trials of Netflix (a launch partner) and Amazon's own Prime streaming service. It's immediate competitors are the Apple TV, Roku and Google's Chromecast.

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