[UPDATE 2] Amazon has released more details about the Fire TV. The $99 box features a Qualcomm Quad Core Snapdragon Krait 300 processor with Adreno 320GPU, and 2GB of RAM to support "high performance game experiences." It's reportedly faster than competitors like Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast, but we won't know for sure until we can test it out.
Developers can program their Amazon Fire TV games to support Amazon's $40 Fire Controller or the console's Bluetooth controller, Amazon says on its special developers website. What's more, Amazon Fire TV supports up to 7 remotes and game controllers to be connected simultaneously, and each controller can be associated with an individual player ID.
Amazon Fire TV games will also allow you to use a combination of controllers (remotes and game-specific controllers) to "make multiplayer gaming easy for everyone," Amazon says.
Finally, the Amazon Fire TV console will support Amazon's payment services for in-game microtransactions. Because Amazon Fire TV users will need to register with their Amazon accounts, their payment profiles are already on file with no further effort to the player. Amazon Fire TV fully supports Amazon's in-app purchase API so that developers can offer a range of items to players including subscriptions and one-off purchases.
[UPDATE] Amazon has now detailed the Amazon Fire TV's gaming capabilities. The Fire Game Controller will sell for $40, though you can also play with the Amazon Fire TV controller. Games from EA, Disney, and Sega are coming to the device, and a version of Minecraft will also be available.
Amazon Game Studios is also making games itself, the first of which is a third-person shooter called Sev Zero. Presumably, Sev Zero will only be available on Amazon Fire TV and other Amazon devices. Amazon also acquired Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games last year.
The Amazon Fire TV will be available for $99. A version of the box bundled with the Fire Game Controller will sell for $140. It's on sale from today.
The original story is below.
Today during a media event in New York City, retailer Amazon announced its long-rumored streaming device, which it is calling the Amazon Fire TV.
The device features a quad-core "best-in-class" processor with a dedicated GPU, as well as 2GB of RAM. Amazon promises 2X the performance of competitors like Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. The Amazon Fire TV will also ship with a Bluetooth controller that has a microphone in it for voice control.
During a live demonstration, Amazon showed off the Fire TV user interface, which included a tab for "Games." However, the role games will play in the device remains to be seen. The event is ongoing and you can follow along via GameSpot sister site CNET's live-blog.
According to a report from February, Amazon will launch the box possibly for under $300. Amazon has not announced a price so far during the event. Images of a rumored Amazon game controller emerged last month, though we saw none of that in the event today.
|Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch|
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