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Android Headliner: Why is Amazon’s Fire TV So Damn Awesome?

May 17, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

So I’ve spent the last few weeks with the Fire TV, and in case you missed it earlier today my review went out. I must say I am pretty impressed with the Fire TV. When Amazon first announced it last month, I wasn’t expecting much from it. Basically, another set-top box in an already crowded market. I mean it’s competing against the likes of the Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast, just to name a few. But what separates it from the competition is the hardware and the gaming aspect of it. Amazon put top-of-the-line hardware in the Fire TV and you can really tell. When queuing up videos to watch, it’s virtually instant. And when playing games, it’s so smooth, not to mention the graphics are pretty amazing as well. In case you missed it, I love Fire TV. And this comes from a guy that doesn’t watch much TV before the Fire TV landed in his possession.

The Fire TV is one of those devices where it’s almost impossible to find something bad about the device to talk about. Which is definitely a good thing. The Fire TV is also what I think the Google TV should have been a few years ago. Amazon has a real contender here, and one that I’m willing to bet will sell well since it has Amazon Prime Instant Video on board which they are working diligently to get even more great content on that service. I must say, I hadn’t checked out Amazon Prime in the last year or two before I got the Fire TV, and boy has the content gotten a whole lot better. But the thing with Fire TV is that it’s not just Amazon Instant Video, but also Hulu+, Netflix, NBA Gametime, and a ton of other apps that are available. Heck even Plex is available on the Fire TV.

Gaming on the Fire TV is pretty sweet as well. I’ve been playing Asphalt 8 and Riptide GP2 for the past few weeks and just picked up Grand Theft Auto: Vice City when it launched this week on the Fire TV. Paired with the MOGA game controller, it’s amazing. While Amazon does have their own game controller, it’s not the only compatible game controller. MOGA and Nyko’s controllers are also compatible. There are plenty of games to choose from, with even more coming.

So when will Google fight back against the Fire TV? Probably at Google I/O in June. We’re expecting to see a new set-top box from Google at I/O, since the device codenamed Molly that appeared in the Android 4.4.3 changelog is a set-top box. I have a feeling it’s on the way. And the rumors we’ve been hearing about this new Android TV, is basically the Fire TV, but from Google. It’s supposedly going to be a full-fledged gaming console as well. Which is going to be great since we’ll have Google Play Games, that’s the only thing the Fire TV lacks in my opinion. I know plenty of people are excited for the Google set-top box, and we should learn more soon. But in the meantime, Fire TV and Chromecast are like a match made in heaven.