Amazon has announced that it will begin shipping its very own video streaming device, the Amazon Fire TV, for $99. According to Amazon’s Peter Larsen, Fire TV will not be affected by issues that plague other living room hardware and in his presentation focused on the problems with search, performance and a “closed ecosystem”.

“We need to invent and simplify on behalf of customers,” said Larsen.Amazon Fire TV

As for the device itself, Fire TV sports a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, which Amazon claim makes it three times faster than any of the other recent set-top boxes from Apple and Roku. To get ahead of its competitors, Amazon is also promising to bring in numerous partners, with Larsen saying, “It’s got a ton of content.”

One feature of Fire Tv will be “best value buy box”, which will tell you where a movie or show can watched for the best price. However only Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus will be included in the results initially. As well as Hulu, you can expect to see Netflix, YouTube, NBA, Vimeo and MLB.tv. available on Fire TV.

Other features included are the ASAP feature, which “predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for playback before you even hit play,” and built in comprehensive parental controls, which allow parents to decide what content is displayed in a custom menu designed for children.

Larsen was keen to point out that Fire TV has a voice search feature “that actually works”. “There’s no shouting across the room at your TV, which is irritating,” he said.

Fire TV is not just for movie lovers, as Amazon also announced the much speculated gamepad for the device. It will cost $39.99 and will come with 1,000 Amazon coins, which can be used to buy games. Amazon says that as well as over 1,000 free-to-play titles, the average price of a game on Fire TV gamepad will be only $1.85, ideal for the casual gamer.

In the highly competitive market of living room tech, Amazon has its work cut out to stand out from the crowd that is made up of Apple TV, Roku and Chromecast but so far things are looking good for Fire TV.

[Image via Amazon]

SOURCE: http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/2/5573818/amazon-announces-fire-tv