Amazon Event Might Unveil Set-Top Box This WeekJon Ledford |
Amazon's long-awaited set-top box with gaming capabilities could finally be unveiled later this week.
Thanks to The Verge, we have learned that Amazon has sent out invitations for a public event on April 2 that is billed as an "update for our video business." In order to compete with other set-top boxes, such as the Chromecast, Apple TV and Roku, Amazon has been rumored to be working on their own version of a counterpart for the television-oriented device.
Earlier this month, we reported that the device will be using a version of the Android operating system and will be able to play most Android titles. We also included a picture of what the game controller for this alleged set-top box might look like (pictured below). Given that its controller features the navigational buttons featured on most Android-based phones, it is even more likely that the Amazon set-top box will run a version of Android. This version would most likely run similar to the Android operating system found on Amazon's Kindle tablets, which would not have access to Google Play.
Without Google Play, users would have to download (and pay) for set-top programs and games on an individual basis directly from Amazon's own listings of available apps.
It is likely that the Amazon set-top box would run the Amazon Instant Video service and would include the free movies and television series that Amazon Prime members have access to. The Wall Street Journal has stated that the box will include apps for both Netflix and Hulu.
Since Amazon has acquired Double Helix Games this past February, the studio behind the Xbox One's Killer Instinct reboot, there is the likelihood that Amazon seeks to produce some original titles that are completely exclusive to their set-top box. Amazon would not simply buyout Double Helix just to help with the develop of the set-top box operating system, since it has allegedly been under development for quite some time. Instead, we believe that we are going to see some titles available on the Amazon box that we may not have seen anywhere else. Given that Double Helix's last two games were Killer Instinct and last month's Strider reboot, the studio doesn't really have much of a track record for simply porting titles to other mediums and is more oriented towards building new games from the ground-up.