Amazon today announced their own set-top box to compete with Apple TV and Roku. The $99 Amazon Fire TV Set-Top Box, which begins shipping today, features a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM.
At the press event to announce the device, Amazon’s Peter Larsen claimed Fire TV improved on three problem points with current devices (Apple and Roku), allowing a better search experience (with voice search), enhanced performance (more ram, less lag), and an open ecosystem (run on an android os).
This is the first thing to come along that, in my estimation, actually offers any competition for the Apple TV for me. I realize many do not like the Apple TV, but for me it’s almost perfect. But there are certainly features here that I REALLY like. Bluetooth remote with just enough buttons to be far more useful than Apple’s remote, but not enought to clutter and confuse? YES, PLEASE! Gaming and the ability to connect real game controllers? YES, PLEASE! Hulu, Netflix AND Amazon Prime on one box. YES YES YES!
Voice search. Huge.
I do have a feeling that we’re going to see some interesting things from Apple on the next Apple TV though so we’ll see how this all plays out.