Amazon revealed their new home media streaming device called Fire TV to the market. It was only a matter of time until Amazon got into the home streaming box market and Fire TV is it. Along side Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast this Amazon Fire TV does much of the same. For $99 you get a small device that connects to your home wi-fi and allows you to stream media content, except for HBO GO which is not available on the Fire TV. However, the only true differentiator that I can see with the Amazon Fire TV is the focus on video games.
The Roku 3 plays simple games using the supplied remote, but it’s not going to appeal to many people long-term. The Amazon Fire specifically focuses on gaming. There is a $40 game controller that you be able to purchase and use with the Fire TV and the growing catalog of games. However the initial reviews of the controller have not been very positive.
There is nothing I see in the Amazon Fire TV that makes me want to go out and get one. I am not an Amazon Prime customer, I have plenty of other home devices where I stream Netflix and HBO Go, and I still maintain an extensive DirecTV subscription. Although I do not plan to be an Amazon Fire TV owner anytime soon I do fully agree with Amazon’s assessment of the current video game market. The current gen consoles are too expensive. $60 games on $400+ consoles and when you add-on extra controllers, batteries, headsets, and other miscellaneous accessories you are looking at $1000 or more in the first year alone. There is a sustainable market for this price but video games in the home, unfortunately, are no longer targeted for everyone. I don’t care what Sony and Microsoft think and say about it.
Amazon Fire TV is the first to attack this but I think there will be others that will quickly follow and do it better. At the $99 price point for the device and if games are ‘app store’ price of $10 and less, the market will flock to the device maker that gets it right. People today don’t have the time to invest 30 hours into a graphic intense epic story. They have time for fun side scrollers, puzzle games, quick two player battles that they can pick up play for 20 minutes and put back down again. People are looking for current gen graphics with the old school Nintendo (NES) game design. Pick up and play. If you don’t believe me, look at the money Nintendo made by releasing the old school Nintendo games on their Wii store. Those games weren’t being bought only for nostalgia. I know because I bought tons of them.
Now that the video games are in the limelight for the home media streaming devices, the others and some new players will follow suit. The next release of the Apple TV is highly anticipated and expected to address video games as well. Rumors out there are hinting that Apple made bring in a motion controller or full integration of an iPhone/iPod as the game controller.
Will the Amazon Fire TV be successful? It’s too early to tell. My gut is telling me it will be a flop. The main reason is that you will never convert Apply TV owners, like myself, primarily because of Apple’s focus on content sharing across all the Apple devices. Why would I introduce a non-integrated device where the shows and movies I buy can only be seen on that device rather on a shared cloud with the rest of my own devices? Yes I know if you have a Kindle you can do it as well, but I don’t own a Kindle.
For $99 you could own a Roku ($99), AppleTV ($99), Chromecast ($35) and an Amazon Fire TV ($99) for the price of a XboxOne. That’s the key component of these home media devices, the price point allows you to own multiple if you so choose. You aren’t going to be locked to a device because of price.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.