Console And pC Gamers: The New Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition Is For You

Note: I used to work for Amazon and own a gen one Fire TV, so I am probably biased.

Likely people from the console/PC gaming bunch. In the event you had asked me this question two weeks ago, I’d have said “anyone who wants or desires a streaming box,” but since the Apple Keynote, I think it makes sense for the majority of buyers to wait until both the new Fire TV and new Apple TV are outside in late October.

The original Fire TV is an extremely clever device. It’s apparently quicker than every other streaming box on the marketplace; the Amazon Video integration is top-notch; it feels more premium in relation to the $99 price tag. Most of all, for this question: I was truly surprised by the character of the gaming experience. The control beat against my expectations, and also the games I’ve played consistently perform well, with frame rates that appear to stay in the 20-30 range. And there is something awe-inspiring about watching screens like the one below plastered on your 55″ TV coming from a tiny black box, especially when it’s sitting next to my games consoles.

Given, games seem just as great (if a bit smaller) on my iPad Air 2. However, the iPad is hand-held, and while it is possible to make it behave like a sofa console, I don’t think it is worth it. So I gue–oh, right, Apple TV now includes games. That may be a big damn deal if some or the majority of the iOS game library is coming to the family room.

I think what developers do with it, and it’ll come to the controller. The Fire TV benefits from having a normal controller. Anybody who has used a console begin playing intuitively and can pick up a Fire controller. I imagine this simplifies game development and games console porting. The intricacy of the Fire controller allows for the granular control that many game types call for, especially compared to a multi-touch interface.

Some of the buttons are not as responsive as I Had like, and the directional controls have always felt stiff. I am hoping Amazon made developments with the revamped control bundled with the Fire TV Gaming Edition.


The new Apple TV doesn’t get a control. Apple updated to the new “Siri Remote” with a touch-enabled surface, and that is how we’ll interact with our games. Even if their partners as well as Apple do an excellent job, they are going to most likely lag in music genres like actions, FPS, and fighting.

Other thoughts

No SKUs of the original Fire TV shipped with the controller, but Amazon is definitely doubling down on it in generation 2. That gives a stronger signal for how users will interact with their titles to programmers.

I’m confident that both Fire TV and Apple TV will have amazing integration with iOS devices and FireOS, respectively. However there’s a iOS device in the majority of dwellings I know of, and I can just think of a few of families with Fire devices.
As Apple releases more iOS-enabled devices, I picture iOS developers are challenged by the increasing variety of display sizes, interfaces, etc. they must adapt.

Nonetheless, Fire TV has rapidly gained share, and Apple TV is declining. The new variations may alter that, this market is volatile, but that has to shift the choice economics for developers. Amazon gets nearly all major game launches at precisely the same time as Android/iOS, but the total library sizes aren’t similar.


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