After months and months of rumors, Amazon finally took the wraps off of their Fire TV set-top box. As one would expect, it’s a Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV competitor, but priced at $99, will it be compelling enough?
Fire TV is based on Android and will include a number of apps. The top of the list is Amazon Instant Video, which will probably never ever be officially available to the Chromecast. It will also offer a slew of other apps, most of them coming soon. These include Pandora, MLB.tv, NBA, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Crackle. The interface seems basic enough. The home screen shows your watchlist, movies, and TV shows along with search. It can also predict what you want to watch and an ASAP feature will start playing your selection instantly once you click on the Play button.
As far as specs go, the little black box sports a quad-core processor, a dedicated GPU, 2GB of RAM, and Mimo dual-band Wi-Fi. It supports Dolby Digital along with 1080p, and the remote control, which is very small, works via Bluetooth. One thing to note is Mimo dual-band Wi-Fi is something that neither Chromecast, Roku, or Apple TV support, and it’s three times faster.
The gaming controller that was leaked last month was also announced today. It will go for $40 and will also server as a remote for the entire interface. As to games, they are working on big name developers like 2K, Ubisoft, and Take-Two. Minecraft and Sev Zero (An Amazon Game Studios third-person shooter) will already be available.
The Fire TV box is available starting today in the U.S. for $99