After a lot of enticing rumors and profoundly interesting hints, the Amazon Fire TV turned out, from a gaming perspective, to pretty much be a total bust. And now Amazon is trying to contain the disappointment.
It’s fairly clear that something, along the way, went wrong. You can buy a game controller for the Fire; it’s $40 extra, but it’s an accessory built from the ground up for gaming. And yet, the games shown and discussed were all essentially mobile titles: No PC games streaming from Amazon servers, and the only game in development is an interesting but not exactly earthshaking third-person shooter. Oh, and it costs $10 more than an Ouya, which is what it is.
And now, of course, the spin begins. Engadget spoke with Amazon’s Pete Larsen, who rather tellingly said this:
“This isn’t trying to be a console, but we do think there’s a great opportunity there in between a console and a smartphone for fun, quality games,” he told us.
Honestly, it’s not hard to suss out what Amazon is thinking; they’ve probably heard of the Ouya. Amazon largely stuck games on the Fire TV because it’s what Apple TV users and game developers have been demanding for years, now. Gaming is largely seen as the next place Apple can supposedly expand to, although the company’s enthusiasm for games has never been high in the first place, and controller API support was begrudging at best.
That said, there’s opportunity, here, if Amazon is willing to stop half-assing it. Nobody’s really cracked the nut of making game-streaming popular among consumers, but if anybody has the infrastructure and know-how, it’s Amazon. Come on, guys, we already know you’re not trying. Maybe if you put a little effort into it, you’d have something worth the $140.