Online retailer Amazon has unveiled the Fire TV; a tiny set top box which will feature the ability to stream films, television and, most importantly for the sake of this article, games as well.
Priced at $99, the box runs on Android and offers 2GB of memory, a quad core processor and built in Wi-Fi (a $40 controller is sold separately). Executives at Amazon have hinted that it may be up to three times as powerful as rival devices such as Google’s Chromecast or Roku. The downside at the moment is that Amazon has yet to reveal any plans for release outside of the United States.
Several big name developers have pledged their support to the system, including TellTale Games who have confirmed that both The Walking Dead & The Wolf Among Us will be playable on the Fire TV. In total 95 games have thus been confirmed, ranging from free-to-play up to $10.
A separate announcement was also made that Metacritic scores for games will now appear on Amazon’s video game listings, offering users the chance to weigh up relatively pointless (and often times, paid for) opinions on products without having to leave the site. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 31ST MARCH – 6TH APRIL→
Facebook is to purchase Oculus VR for $2 billion, in a deal which includes $400 million of cash and 23 million shares in the social networking site. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has hailed Oculus, who are currently working on the Oculus Rift VR headset, as the ‘social platform of the future’ (you can read the full statement here). The company will continue to work on the Rift at their headquarters in California.
The reaction to the deal has been…volatile.
The internet seems to have taken a mostly apocalyptic view of events; many early backers of the Oculus Rift (which was Kickstarted to the tune of $2.4 million) have expressed their disgust with Oculus for variously; killing virtual reality and the future of gaming, selling out, and making a mockery of crowd funding. The share price of Facebook took a nose dive after the announcement, dropping 6.9% by the end of day trading on Wednesday. And anyone hoping to play an official version of Minecraft on the Rift will be left extremely disappointed as creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson cancelled the deal to bring the game to the hardware – amusingly taking to Twitter to express that ‘Facebook creeps me out’.
Facebook have flatly denied that they will rebrand the Rift or detract from its focus on gaming, and Oculus themselves have claimed that while the are surprised at just how negative the reaction has been, the benefits will be found in cheaper units and reduced delays of production. Chief technology officer John Carmack has remained optimistic about the deal claiming that Facebook’s vast financial resources will help to avoid ‘an embarrassing scaling crisis for VR’.