Amazon Fire TV is "absolutely not a game console"

Amazon clarifies in an interview that they're not going after the Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U with their latest streaming device.

The Amazon Fire TV was announced earlier today, but despite the device's optional controller and slate of available games, the Amazon's Kindle VP Pete Larsen says, "This is absolutely not a game console."

In a recent interview with Engadget following the Fire TV's unveiling, Larsen said, "This isn't trying to be a console, but we do think there's a great opportunity there in between a console and a smartphone for fun, quality games." The interviewer also offered up another quote from Larsen via Twitter writing, "This is absolutely not a game console."

The Amazon Kindle Fire TV has an optional $40 controller and Amazon has made big gaming investments like purchasing Killer Instinct developer Double Helix, but the Amazon Fire TV is not trying to go head-to-head with Sony, PlayStation, and Nintendo. As discussed during the system's reveal, their machine is aimed primarily at tablet and mobile gamers who may not already have standalone gaming console. The Fire TV's primary offering is streaming video, and their main competitors are Apple TV and Roku.

Regardless, the device has several games available right now like including new third-person shooter/tower defense hybrid called Sev Zero, Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Asphalt 8, and Deus Ex: The Fall. Just today Amazon Game Studios also announced that they'd brought on game industry veterans Kim Swift and Clint Hocking.

We'll have even more info on the system in the coming days as we try out the $100 system here in the GameSpot office.

Justin Haywald is a senior editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @JustinHaywald. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Sr. Editor Twitter: JustinHaywald

Discussion

143 comments
leikeylosh
leikeylosh

Of course they are not going after Wii U, because their hardware surpasses Wii U's.

GIF
GIF

For now they are clearly aiming at Apple TV and the tabloid market but to say Amazon is staying out of console war between Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo is a mistake. They arent going after them yet. Give it a few years, probably the next generation and I am sure they will make a game console taking into consideration their direct relationships with game publishers and the consumers.

Johnny-n-Roger
Johnny-n-Roger

An attempt to tap in to the market of the most casual casuals that don't want to feel like they're putting alot of money into a console, yet will more than likely unknowingly spend hundreds of dollars on "free-to-play / Pay-to-Win" titles.

suprsolider
suprsolider

Why does every controller have to be modeled after the Dreamcast controller (well technically the Saturn 3D controller) with the whole stick placement?

Why can't they be in the damn middle WHERE THEY BELONG?

LordCrash88
LordCrash88

I don't see anything good in that. They offer a new piece of hardware which nobody really needs and they take away development talent to make exclusive games for a platform which isn't even meant as a gaming device. GREAT!

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Gaming was an after-thought with this. All a person has to do is go to the product page on Amazon and look at their "competition chart".

It shows Roku, Apple TV, and Google Chromecast.

This is a streaming box, priced against other streaming boxes, meant mostly to make a non-smart TV into a Smart TV.

XIntoTheBlue
XIntoTheBlue

What is the point of buying this, anyway, if its primary purpose is to stream video? People can do this easily enough with game consoles, laptops, computers, and even TV's themselves have built in connectivity for this purpose. Seems a waste of money to purchase.

howiex89
howiex89

The digs against the X1 on here show a very sad state of the gaming community today.

EFFZero
EFFZero

Who the hell are these idiots on the video? Sev Zero reminds them of Halo and Titanfall?

djsimpson95
djsimpson95

it's not a console, it's not a pc, not even a phone or tablet, so what the hell does it do ?

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

Amazon Fire TV is "absolutely not a game console" ... the same can be said for how MS is treating the Xbox one.

3dmatrixgamer
3dmatrixgamer

we are not going after the Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U with our latest streaming device because we sell all those products..

sadface1234
sadface1234

"3rd person shooter with tower defense, uhhh closest I could compare it to is halo" yeah okay and you call your self gamers? This is already a genre first game that comes to mind is Orcs must Die, there are others too....

Hurvl
Hurvl

"in between a console and a smartphone" And there you just went from "perhaps good, benefit of the doubt and all that jazz" to being another uninteresting game developer. Oh well, it's not like I'm out of luck when it comes to PC games, 2014 and even 2015 (Witcher 3) is looking very good.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

Wait, but.. but.. xbone? Does that mean it's not a game console either?

neowarrior121
neowarrior121

see i like how they are trying to find gaps in the market but the last time i checked the ouya took that position for all thoes tablet mobile and old school console games. so bringing out this seems to not make any sense at all. 

3dmatrixgamer
3dmatrixgamer

anyone please is this an android device i heard of.

B74kD37H
B74kD37H

The kindle fire hdx is more game capible

Techn1c4l
Techn1c4l

First "Amazon is serious about gaming, hires Portal and Far Cry designers". Now this. I'm confused.

MjnE
MjnE

i could see this working against the xbone; it does tvtvtvtvtv a lot more and a lot better than the bone and has a lot of kids and family games.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

Apple really dropped the ball on this one.

It should have been here years before anyone else with a fully enabled Apple TV that let you play all it's Apps etc.

amaneuvering
amaneuvering

From the clips, the user interface at least looks pretty slick, streamlined and intuitive. More so than most of the other devices that have similar options, including consoles, that I've seen anyway.

deadpen
deadpen

@leikeylosh  Well they are not after xbox one since it isn't a gaming console.

Ferrets_one
Ferrets_one

@GIF Remember, everyone said that this is the last console generation! 

Johnny-n-Roger
Johnny-n-Roger

@suprsolider  I had to make the transition this generation from the 360 to the PS4, and to be honest, the analog sticks feel much more natural in the asymetrical layout as seen in every dual stick controller since the Dreamcast, EXCEPT the Dual Shock 2.

Its almost like the left stick on the original DS was left "out of the way" in favor of the D-Pad to accomodate the vast majority of existing games that didn't support the analog function on the original Playstation, yet they were too afraid to gamble and improve its design in following generations where most games use the analog stick for primary movement.

Not to start a system wars debate, but to say that the symmetrical stick layout feels "more natural" is to imply that it is really all you've ever used.

xcollector
xcollector

@suprsoliderWhat are you a hardcore Playstation gamer? The Dreamcast layout is more natural. Your thumbs are in a more relaxed position when they are over the top part of the controller. The bottom is for secondary controls that don't get used as often. 

The Playstation layout is a bad legacy inherited from the ps1 days. The ps1 controller originally never had analog sticks. Most games in the PS1 era relied on the d-pad unlike todays gaming. Thus the d-pad had priority placement at the top. The sticks were an 'add on' feature with the first dual shock controller that only later games supported.

Sony never evolved the controller layout. They tried to once but goofed up with the boomerang.

famouswolfe
famouswolfe

@XIntoTheBlue  What if you have an Xbox (360 or One) but refuse to pay Microsoft $10/month for their Xbox Live services? Add to the fact that you have to pay Netflix $7.00/month and also your internet company at least $50-60 per month for decent internet, and you'll suddenly start to see why the Fire TV is such an attractive proposition. IMHO if they did it right, the Fire TV could be another OUYA, only a thousand times better. 

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@XIntoTheBlue  It makes a non-smart TV into a smart TV.

Why would you do this? Well, I know our smart TV is quicker to run Netflix, HBO Go, and other apps... faster than booting up any of our consoles. Having this would be akin to having a Roku, AppleTV or Chromecast.

Tomcat2007
Tomcat2007

@XIntoTheBlue  i can see it being a good fit for somebody that doesn't already have a game console but still enjoys casual gaming and was already in the market for a streaming device.  At $99 it's a pretty good purchase decision

leakingdogmilk
leakingdogmilk

@djsimpson95  


They called it a streaming device and say that it streams videos, videos as in movies and TV shows etc. Next time shut up and use your head instead of going "WUT DURR HELL DOS EAT DOO"

howiex89
howiex89

@daikkenaurora12  even though the number of decent games is roughly the same on PS4 and X1…..so yeah other then that you're right….

C_A_G_E
C_A_G_E

@neowarrior121  I do agree with this but Amazon has a lot of potential customers. Any other company does this and they are bankrupt in 2 years...


Roku and Chrome cast have large market shares and a better price point. This thing shows up late to the market with higher hardware specs to support this halfway gaming add on. That makes the price point jump to double what the already established competition have. 

akaikoru
akaikoru

@3dmatrixgamer  It runs Android apps. BUT only if you bought them from Amawrong. You would be better off buying a Tronsmart Prometheus then you could use all of the apps stores and stream through all of the channels. Amazon is just as controlling as Apple when it comes to their systems. Thank goodness I was finally able to flash KitKat on my son's Fire. That thing was a P.O.S. until then.

akaikoru
akaikoru

@B74kD37H  And yet still a worthless P.O.S. since you can't alter the themes and can't access Google Play.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Techn1c4l They're not serious about the sections of gaming that we take serious, i.e. consoles and PC.

akaikoru
akaikoru

@amaneuvering  Can't now. With Jobs dead all they know how to do is make different sizes of Iphones/Ipads. Apple has no innovation left. Just pastel drug flashbacks.

leikeylosh
leikeylosh

@Johnny-n-Roger  I think the Dual Shock was made primarily for third person games, where you constantly have to move the character and the camera. The asymetrical layout, like Xbox's, was made for first person shooters, where you can align just one of the axis and move the other, like aiming for a headshot, for example.

I say this because I played Bioshock Infinite with a Dual Shock and it felt extremely uncomfortable. I always end up with my thumb muscles aching after just an hour playing. The same did not occur with Lords of Shadow, for example. I play for hours without problem.

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

@xcollector @suprsolider 
Having worked on controls before, I've found that it's no use arguing over this kind of controller topic since it's very subjective. Everyone has their opinion.

So putting them up top is not an "evolution". It's simply another opinion.

Personally I prefers the analog sticks to be in the middle-bottom. But that's me.

Johnny-n-Roger
Johnny-n-Roger

@Tomcat2007  But you still have to pay $40 ($140 total) for the controller, when you could buy a 7th generation console for $180 to $200 and have a vast library of games at bargain bin prices?

West123
West123

@leakingdogmilk @djsimpson95  if a person has a smart tv or a modern surround sound system why would they need this? everything now comes with the internetz 

C_A_G_E
C_A_G_E

@West123 @leakingdogmilk @djsimpson95  They wont need this. Not all TVs are smart TVs. There is a large market for it. 


Now will people with a smart TV buy this anyways... that depends on how far Amazon wants to push this. They have a huge market to offer to with their prime subscriptions. 



C_A_G_E
C_A_G_E

@West123 @PS4andXoneGamer  PC can replace everything this thing can do.... Even with that being obvious there is still a market for Roku, Aple TV and Chrome cast so "use a PC" has no point of value.


The market is already there.