Amazon set top box sets sights on living room dominance

Amazon’s entry into the Web TV market is getting closer as it prepares to unveil a set top box to challenge the likes of Apple and Sky.

Related: Amazon working on affordable PSone-esque alternative to PS4 and Xbox One

Industry sources told Re/code that Amazon is ready to launch a web TV box and those that are partnering with Amazon have stated that the product will hit the shelves next month.

The box, which has been in the pipeline for much of the last year and was almost released in time for Christmas 2013, will be powered by Google’s Android OS, according to Re/code’s sources, and likely to be similar to the forked version that exists on the Kindle Fire tablets.

It’s so far unclear whether the new device will act as a gaming hub that features TV and entertainment features or simply a set top box that enables the owner to watch TV programmes.

A report back in January mentioned that Amazon has been in talks with numerous publishers over developing a video game console priced south of $300 [£182] and able to offer downloading or streaming of games, music, movies and TV content.

One publisher reported that the unit is a similar size to the PSone redesign except with sharper edges and the hardware would be created by Lab 126, the same subsidiary that designed the Kindle Fire line of devices.

Whatever Amazon ends up releasing it will take advantage of Amazon’s Prime on demand movie and TV streaming service that costs $79 [£47] in the US and is the country’s third largest streaming service.

In terms of the UK market, Amazon today announced it is merging LoveFilm with its high-speed Prime shipping service to form Prime Instant Video, which will cost £79 per year, and brings it in line with the same service offered in the US.

Related: Amazon planning set-top streaming box to be Apple TV killer

With Amazon planning to invest in plenty of new content, including Game of Thrones, the lure of the set top box will be too much for many consumers to resist.