Amazon Fire TV launched for $99: a home set top box for media and gaming

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon has just launched its much rumored home set top box called the Fire TV. This comes after months of speculation and hype surrounding the device.

Unlike the Chromecast though, the Fire TV is a standalone device and packs a quad core processor and 2GB of RAM inside. The user interface seems to be pretty fluid as well with effortless navigation and a large list of movie posters and content to pick from right within the home menu. Evidently, Amazon has ensured that this new system gets support from third party content providers as well, along with Prime. In addition to Amazon’s own content service, the Fire TV also supports Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and more out of the box. Support for other content providers will be reportedly added soon.

Additionally, the Fire TV comes with dual band MIMO WiFi which makes it faster than the rest of the competition (Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast etc). The device also comes with a tiny Bluetooth controlled remote with all the essential buttons to manage the device. Users can also use the remote as a voice controlling unit. The demonstration showed the executive saying “John Malkovich” to the remote which popped out a series of information on the popular actor including IMDB results, almost instantaneously.

So it seems like Amazon Fire TV is a well thought-out device, as it should be if it has to succeed in this vastly competitive business. Much like any other home console, the Amazon Fire TV plugs into your television via HDMI. Convenience is at the forefront here as Amazon wants users to find content as soon as they turn this device on.

It will also double as a gaming device, as was rumored before, with several top billing developers like EA and Disney reportedly launching titles. Compatibility is stated with Android games, and it should be similar if not a replica of the Amazon App Store experience. Games can be played either with the remote that is supplied with the device or using the dedicated bluetooth controller, which costs $40. Amazon claims that average cost of a game on Fire TV will beĀ $1.85, although there will be several free titles on offer as well.

The all important question with the Fire TV is the pricing. Well, Amazon seems to have scored a winner here with its suggested pricing of $99. This is a very aggressive price point and could test out the market very well. We’ll keep you in the loop with any more information we get on this new home console from Amazon.

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