Amazon’s rumored set-top box/console combo will reportedly mirror Chromecast’s form factor. According to sources speaking with TechCrunch, the device is less of a puck and more of a dongle, meaning it’ll have a much smaller footprint than a typical set-top box you’d see from Apple or Roku (Roku does offer a stick as well). That’s not even the biggest part of TechCrunch’s report, however; the device will supposedly come with one feature that PC users will love.
According to TechCrunch’s sources, the device will be able to stream full PC games, which could be where that leaked controller comes into play. The feature will essentially work like OnLive or Sony’s PlayStation Now service—a Netflix for games, if you will. From the sound of it, you’ll be able to purchase a game from Amazon’s own digital ecosystem of PC games, and then stream in right to your TV. No PC will be necessary, so you won’t have to worry about building an expensive rig. The games will apparently be streamed from Amazon’s services at 30fps, which is comparable to most online video, TechCrunch’s source said.
The online giant is no stranger to streaming content, offering a huge library of movies and TV shows as part of its Prime package. Adding the feature would be a huge draw for Amazon’s dongle, especially if the hardware is cheap, and could attract thousands of new customers to its ecosystem. The dongle would presumably also be able to play movies, TV shows, and music, and there’s the chance it’ll still be able to play Android games seeing as Amazon has its own app store. TechCrunch suggests that the PC aspect could be part of Amazon’s Prime service, meaning it won’t cost subscribers any extra money—the price has already gone up, however.
Amazon’s set-top box has been an elusive creature, and it’s been difficult to nail down exactly what it’ll offer. Last month we heard it might make its debut in March, but seeing as we’re already halfway through the month, that is seeming more and more unlikely. In addition to the possibility of PC gaming and a myriad of other features, the device could also support third-party services. Unfortunately, Amazon’s dongle is still in testing, and it’s unclear when the device will even launch.