With the announcement and release of the Amazon Fire TV, the online retailer finds itself in control of not just a media streaming TV, but a genuine video game console to boot. This unconventionally puts it in the special “first-party” category that gamers have been using for the past three decades.
Like other first-party video game companies – Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft – Amazon has a dedicated controller to run into the Amazon Fire TV and its own studio, Amazon Game Studios, to develop exclusive games you can’t find anywhere else. Amazon Game Studios released a trailer showing off a sneak peak of what is to come for those who want to game through the Amazon Fire TV.
I wouldn’t jump in expecting top of the line software like you can find of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U, but there is a bit of creativity here. The Fire TV seems capable of replicating the kind of games you can find on mobile devices, smaller-end PC development and last generation machines. Which may or may not benefit its case, considering it is marketed as a streaming media unit first and a video game tool second. While the hardware appears to be solid, ultimately content is is king here, enter Amazon Game Studios and a slate of exclusive games.
To its credit, I haven’t heard of any of these games, and from what it looks like, the Amazon Fire TV already has more exclusive games planned than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Amazon’s jump into the category of “first-party gaming company” is further proof that the structure and setup of our conventional gaming borders have changed and are never going back. Where do these games stack up in the grand annals of video game history? Do they belong in a different category of where we place video game console greats like Super Mario 64 and Final Fantasy VII in, or do they belong in that “kind of video game but not really” category like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and other mobile hits?
Can exclusive games hold enough cache to prop up the Amazon Fire TV as a gaming console? Is the idea of “video game” so bent beyond recognition that it doesn’t even matter anymore? Ugh, I’m turning into an old man who likes to reminisce about “my day.”