Could Amazon Fire TV Change the Face of TV Streaming?
With the launch of Fire TV, has Amazon done enough to beat the likes of Apple TV?
The contest between television streaming boxes was starting to look like a two-horse race between Google Chromecast and its older rival, Apple TV. So with Amazon’s announcement of its new Fire TV box, the landscape for these warring products has become much more interesting.
Fire TV features a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which it is said make it three times more powerful than its rivals
As well as giving access to its own Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service, it will also allow viewers to watch shows on third-party platforms like Netflix, Showtime and YouTube.CNN reports that partnerships are under discussion with services like the WWE Network and WATCH Disney Channel.
The operating system will be a similar form of Android to that used on the Kindle Fire, meaning that a number of the brand’s fans will already feel comfortable using it.
Probably the most interesting innovation is that it will double up as a gaming console. Using separately-sold controllers, users will be able to play thousands of games that have already been made available. Considering the fact the likes of Sega and EA have been mentioned, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to suggest that some popular games with large, well-established fan bases will be among those up for grabs. Notoriously addictive Minecraft has already been named.
So, does it have what it takes to win the war with Apple and Google? It certainly has features they don’t: smartphone picture syncing and parental controls for children among them. But those could easily be matched. In gaming, it seems to have a distinct advantage, but again that seems like an area its rivals could also seek to break into.
If anything, the war will come down to the balance of content and price. At $99 (£59), Fire TV will be the same as Apple TV but more expensive than the Google Chromecast. And of course, none of the boxes gives access to all the content owned by others: neither Fire TV nor the Chromecast have iTunes, for example. Between them, the different companies have the perfect streaming box. It just seems that it hasn’t been made yet.