A new report pegs Amazon’s potential TV set-top box launch for March. Re/Code reports that the e-commerce and digital media giant is indeed still hard at work on a streaming TV device, which has been reported previously, and which was supposedly arriving in time for the holidays last year before those plans were pushed back.
Amazon’s streaming box should provide access to its content library of digital media, including titles from Amazon Instant Video and stuff that’s made available to Amazon Prime members in the U.S. for free. Amazon also has an extensive music catalog that would play well on a home theater device.
Re/Code also says that the Amazon gadget will run Android, albeit a forked version of the same, similar to the OS that powers Amazon’s Kindle Fire line of tablets. The report doesn’t offer any information about whether Amazon’s set-top box will also be a games machine, but we’ve heard from sources close to the matter previously that it will indeed feature game support, and based on what I’ve heard recently from industry sources, that’s likely still the case despite the missed holiday shopping season window.
Amazon entering the streaming media center realm makes a lot of sense, and if it’s running Android and has access to the Amazon Appstore, there’s a lot of potential for it to leapfrog some of its competitors, which have been slower moving at providing access to a truly open library of apps. The most interesting aspect still up in the air is what Amazon will charge for such a device, and whether or not it might even become a free perk for Amazon Prime members, especially considering rumors that Amazon will increase the price of Prime subscriptions by between $20 and $40, which could be to help account for the cost of hardware.