Amazon is getting ready for a fight with Apple TV and Google Chromecast with its own set-top box, called Fire TV. The world's largest internet warehouse will, for the time being, only provide Fire TV in the United States.
"Three times faster than Apple TV"
Fire TV will cost 99 dollars (nearly 72 euro), runs on a 1.7 GHz quad core processor, with 2 GB of memory and it will have WiFi and a Bluetooth remote with microphone for voice recognition. Through the set-top box, consumers can access online services like YouTube, Netflix, Disney and Amazon Instant Video.
Amazon claims its Fire TV is three times faster than the most recent Apple TV and that it has a more open system, as it will not only support its own video channel, but also those of other providers. Fire TV also has a built-in price comparison tool which shows viewers where they can get the movie or series cheapest.
Also for gamers
Fire TV will not only stream series and movies, but will also play games. Some thousand games will be on offer from next month onwards, both paid and free-to-play. The internet giant has struck deals with publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Gameloft, Disney and 2K Games.
The system however is not being positioned as a competitor for PlayStation, Xbox and Wii, but as an alternative for those who have no console. You can play the games with the remote, through a smartphone app or through a separately-sold game controller (39.99 dollars or 25 euro).
Fire Tv is currently only available through Amazon's American website and will not be shipped to Europe. A worldwide release is definitely on the cards, but Amazon has not revealed when that will happen.