An Amazon Set-Top Box May Be on the Way — for Real This Time
According to Peter Kafka at Recode, the company is preparing to launch a set-top box that streams Amazon Video content, possibly as soon as March.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard reports of an Amazon-based connected device. Murmurings of a set-top box first appeared last April, only to hit delays in October. Rumors have also persisted that the company is interested in releasing its own gaming console
Amazon Instant Video content is already available on a large number of devices, including Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, TiVo and even iOS. Amazon Video team members have said in the past that the company very much wants to be on as many devices as it can, a strategy Netflix pioneered.
Would having its own box go against that strategy? Not necessarily. Amazon’s digital content includes more than just video; it also includes music and apps. If, as Peter Kafka reports, an Amazon set-top box is based on Android — or at least the forked version of Android that Amazon uses for its Kindle Fire tablets — that would mean it could be a way to deliver more than just video content to the living room. Pair a box with a bluetooth game controller and it’s a low-end gaming console ready to compete with the Ouya and GameSticks of the world, with the added incentive of access to Amazon content and Amazon-centric apps.
The set-top box rumors also align with Amazon’s increasing focus on its Instant Video service. Not only is Amazon investing in more original programming, the company is opening up its checkbook to gain streaming exclusives for TV shows such as Teen Wolf, Veronica Mars and The Americans. Amazon Prime Instant Video is also the exclusive streaming home for the Oscar-nominated film, The Broken Circle Breakdown.