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Why Amazon Fire TV? Does Amazon’s Streaming Device Offer an Advantage?

Streaming devices are starting to seem more and more like the wave of the future, or at least one of the waves. Amazon has just released the Amazon Fire TV in order to compete with Roku, Apple and Google. But is there any advantage to Amazon’s latest gadget?

What is unique about the Amazon Fire TV? - photo courtesy of Amazon

What is unique about the Amazon Fire TV? – photo courtesy of Amazon

The device became available on Amazon.com for $99 on Wednesday and will begin to be sold in certain retail stores in the near future.

At first glance, the Amazon Fire TV appears to be quite similar to it’s competitors. Very comparable in size to any of the Roku devices or the Apple TV. However, the Amazon Fire TV definitely does some unique things that it’s competitors do not.

What might be the most noticeable feature that has been integrated into the device is the voice search. By pressing a button on the top of the remote, the user can say what it is they are looking for and it will be pulled up for them. Gaming systems like the Xbox One have a similar feature built in via the Kinect, but that does come with a price tag. No other streaming device on the market has this feature, which to some may be a bit surprising.

The other thing that pretty much all of these devices are attempting accomplish is become a cross media platform of some sort. The Roku has had a small selection of games on it for quite some time, but Amazon has taken that a step further. The device has thousands of free games and many more for a reasonable fee, averaging less than $2 each. In addition, Amazon has the Amazon Fire Game Controller for those who feel inclined to take their gaming more seriously on the device. Even with a price tag of $39.99, it makes sense for a more casual gamer to go this route.

An Xbox One or PS4 comes with a pretty heavy price tag, around $500 in most cases. However, a more casual gamer could pick up the Amazon Fire TV, two controllers and buy some games all for under $200. This is perhaps the most interesting feature of Amazon’s device.

For those who on a Kindle, they have also done some pretty heavy integration between the devices similar to that of perhaps a Wii U interface, but more flexible given that the Kindle Fire is a full on tablet.

The device isn’t without its flaws though.   It is missing some big name access such as HBO GO, Spotify and MLB.TV, though those channels could be made available later. In any case the Amazon Fire TV seems to be a legitimate competitor in the marketplace for streaming devices.

Take a look at the video below from Engadget to get a look at the hands on experience.

Why Amazon Fire TV? Does Amazon’s Streaming Device Offer an Advantage?

YouTube video courtesy of Engadget

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