Is Amazon preparing to join the console war?

Amazon have revealed their Set Top Box, the Amazon Fire TV, at a special invite-only event. The device has pretty decent specs including a dedicated GPU, Quad Core processor, 2 GB RAM and supports voice control… because shouting at your TV is the future.

So far these are the only details out there but the thing that jumped out to me during the event was quite a nasty jab at Microsofts Xbox One console in one of their slides. The online retailer talked about the extra expense Xbox users pay to access Netflix on their machines. The slide I’m speaking of had a customer review of the Xbox One which read:

“You cannot access your Netflix account without paying $60 a year Xbox Live subscription fee. Not really sure who is going to pay $60 a year for a service they are already paying for”.

By using a negative review of a competitors product, it seems that Amazon is keen to tackle Microsoft head on in the fight for your living room. This move follows their decision to purchase Double Helix, developer of the Xbox One exclusive launch title, Killer Instinct. There have been several rumours flying around that Amazon have been developing a console based on Android technology. These moves seem like perfect strategic positioning for a company preparing to enter the console market for the first time.

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Is the Amazon Fire STB positioning itself for the console market?

Amazon are a Goliath, so there’s no reason the company couldn’t tackle the development and release of a home console. As long as its not another Ouya, it would be interesting to see what kind of disruption an additional console would have on the industry at large, especially from a player like Amazon.

At present this is idle speculation as the retailer has never definitively confirmed it’s interest in developing a console, even if the company have developed a Game Pad and exclusive titles for the Amazon Fire TV. However, these moves are bound to get people talking.

What do you think? Is Amazon slamming Microsoft because they may become direct competitors at some stage in the future? Why would they acquire a developer like Double Helix if they didn’t have an interest in the games space? Is the Amazon Fire TV STB gearing up to be the corporations first entry into the console space? Am I reading into things way too much?

As always, let us know in the comments section here on Player Attack.

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