Speculation has been rife concerning Amazon’s set-top box for some time now, although it may finally come to fruition as soon as next month over in the States.
This rumour comes from a reliable source, namely the Wall Street Journal (via The Next Web), which states that Amazon’s video streaming device will ship in early April over in the US. Amazon will sell the device itself, of course, and US retailers including Best Buy and Staples will also be flogging it.
According to TechCrunch, the device won’t be a set-top box as such, but rather a streaming dongle which plugs into the HDMI port, like Google’s Chromecast, or indeed the Roku Streaming Stick. It may also stream PC games, OnLive-style (i.e. from a remote server, not a local PC), and that could be a major selling point over these rival dongles.
It will run a forked version of Android (just like Amazon’s tablets), and will provide all the usual suspects when it comes to streaming video (Netflix, Hulu for the US, and so forth). The dongle will tie in very nicely with Amazon’s existing video services, of course.
We had previously reported rumours that Amazon’s device would be arriving in March, but a little slippage is hardly unheard of.
While the device may be imminent in the States, any plans for the UK are unknown at this point. We’ve seen huge delays with the Chromecast – which is set to arrive in this country tomorrow, but was out in the US last summer – and also previous Amazon hardware such as the Kindle Fire. In other words, we won’t be holding our breath for an imminent UK release… but hopefully, if this device does emerge in the US next month, we won’t be left hanging for too long.
In the meantime, your choice will be between the Roku Streaming Stick and Chromecast – and we’ve got a head-to-head comparison of those two options here.