We’ve heard rumors of an Amazon web-connected TV box before, but today we get our first look at what is purported to be a piece of its hardware. It comes in the form of a game controller (a rather ugly one, might we add) that will supposedly interface with a set-top box running a forked version of Android, much like Amazon’s Kindle Fire range.
The media box is expected to give users access to Amazon’s wide range of digital content, from streaming movies and television to music, apps, and games. The presence of a dedicated controller suggests the latter, gaming, will be a central focus of the device. It is also likely the box will offer other services common to internet-connected TV hardware (though it will be interesting to see if the Amazon opens up their box to competing services like Netflix). The obvious focus, as with all of Amazon’s hardware, is on getting users to buy even more content from the retailer’s connected digital storefront.
As for the controller itself, it is rather reminiscent of the OnLive controller, featuring a similar design and layout save for offset analog sticks and a row of Android-esque navigation buttons. The presence of these controls further cements the fact that the system will likely run on some modified form of Google’s mobile operating system.
Most reports state that Amazon wanted to have their TV offering ready to go in time for the holiday season last year, but it was delayed for undisclosed reasons. As such, the device is expected to launch sometime before the second half of 2014, meaning an announcement could come and day now.