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Games Hardware

Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time? 88

Nerval's Lobster (2598977) writes "Amazon is serious about conquering the living room: the online retailer has launched Fire TV, a set-top box that not only allows viewers to stream content, but also play games. That streaming-and-gaming capability makes Amazon a threat to Apple, which rumors suggest is hard at work on an Apple TV capable of doing the same things. In addition, Fire TV puts the screws to other streaming hardware, including Roku and Google's Chromecast, as well as smaller game consoles such as Ouya (a $99, Android-based device). Much of Amazon's competitive muscle comes from its willingness to sell hardware for cheap (the Fire TV retails for $99) on the expectation that owners will use it to stream and download digital content from Amazon, including television shows and apps. Those developers who've developed Android games have an advantage when it comes to migrating software to Amazon's new platform. "Porting You Don't Know Jack was really like developing for Android, with the exception of the store and the new controller library," Jackbox Games Designer/Director Steve Heinrich told Gamasutra after the Fire TV announcement. "The store itself is the same as the Kindle version, which we've used many times now, and the way the controller works is very close to what we did for Ouya." While Fire TV could represent yet another opportunity for game developers looking to make a buck, it also raises a pressing question: with so many platforms out there (iOS, PC, etc.), how's an indie developer or smaller firm supposed to allocate time and resources to best advantage?"
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Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

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  • by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @01:43PM (#46651193)

    Why would someone buy a FireTV in other countries? Even in Canada, we don't get things like Hulu, Amazon Streaming, etc. All we have is the Canadian version of Netflix which has, at best, 20% of the library available to the USA.

  • by bluescrn ( 2120492 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @01:43PM (#46651199)
    If it shipped with their game controller, it might be worth considering. But the controller is an optional extra...
  • Amazon mysteries (Score:4, Interesting)

    by colfer ( 619105 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @01:49PM (#46651259)

    Amazon's primary interest in this device *seems* to be to drive sales on Amazon Instant, not to serve as a general purpose streamer like Roku (though it does that too). There's some confusion in the business press about what Amazon is up to, but this is a likely guess. It doesn't want to be reliant on Roku, ChromeCast, Sony, etc., and would like to have a sticky ecosystem like Apple.

    The other theory is that Amazon believes users will prefer it as a premium branded product, again like Apple. The product does not need to compete with Roku on price, in that case, but does need to compete on features.

  • (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2014 @02:40PM (#46651789)

    That last link points to Am I the only one who dislikes such a link (without a disclaimer)?

    Nope. Nerval's Lobster is the pen name of they guy who wrote a ton of articles on (the now apparently defunct) SlashBI. He gets a ton of stories posted [] (several of which link back to but doesn't actually participate in the community [].

    Additional related link []

  • by gladish ( 982899 ) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @03:34PM (#46652265)
    Is it or me does it seem more and more like SunOS, IRIX, HP-UX, VMS, Digital UNIX, and so on all over again? I sometimes wonder if this is the precursor to the second coming of windows. Microsoft is the only company that seems to be trying to unify all their "stuff" across various devices/platforms.

Loose bits sink chips.