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With such a proliferation of similar products on the market, Amazon‘s Amazon Fire TV seemingly came out of nowhere. Who on Earth needs this product right now?

That’s not to say that Amazon Fire TV isn’t an outstanding product in its own right. It’s a little set-top box that gives you all your necessary functions, like access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and others. In addition, however, the little device doubles as a compact gaming console, currently capable of playing some Android-enabled titles like Minecraft and Telltale GamesThe Walking Dead.

All this, however, feels a bit “late to the party,” as similar devices including the Roku 3, Roku Streaming Stick, AppleTV, and Google Chromecast all exist together in some sort of unbalanced power struggle where Apple‘s product currently leads the pack of standalone streaming devices.

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So, what’s the deal? Why put this product on the market now when so many of its kind already exist in similar price points? Both the Roku 3 and AppleTV come in at the same price of $99.99, and even surpass Amazon’s device by including HBO Go, as well as exclusive streaming services tied to specific devices or companies.

Furthermore, there are still more alternatives available in Roku and Google products, specifically the Streaming Stick and Chromecast. These not only allow incredibly similar functionality, but also save space in that they plug in directly to an open HDMI port, merely at the cost of reduced functionality in some form or another. The benefit of these is their lower price, coming in at $49.99 and $34.99 for the Streaming Stick and Chromecast, respectively.

So, who’s the Amazon Fire TV for? It seems to be in direct competition with the above listed products, but also shares the possibility of being a very compact gaming machine should the demand arise, currently a market “cornered” by the consistently lambasted Ouya, which has not fared particularly well critically or in the hands of users despite launching one of the most successful Kickstarters of all time.

The Amazon Fire TV has the ability to be controller-enabled with its proprietary game controller ($40) or with other bluetooth controllers, but who wants these things?

There are already seemingly too many game-enabled devices in hands now, with mobile gaming being the absolute largest market share the world has to offer as far as gaming is considered. If you’re on the go, how likely are you to take your Fire TV with you to play games versus, say, your Android tablet or iPad, where you can not only play games in vivid HD, but also stream media with various downloadable applications?

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Further still, already having these products means that there’s a short jump to other accessories that allow less touch screen-based gaming, like the Moga Controller for both Android and iOS that not only provide a closer-to-console experience, but also come in a cheaper price point.

From a business standpoint, Amazon’s Fire TV makes sense—enter a market with your own product and try to entice users away from other options with your company name. Amazon is a well-renowned company with years of experience and hundreds upon thousands of positive comments of how they do business.

Yet, from a consumer standpoint, the Fire TV doesn’t make any sense with so many other similar products on the market already. Let’s not forget that this is in part marketing towards gamers, and nearly anyone that would even consider calling themselves that has a home console that more than provides all of the streaming functionality and also carries the ability to play higher quality games.

Amazon Fire TV will undoubtedly be a great product, and incredibly versatile, but bringing a new device into your home that performs the same function of so many others that you already own seems redundant.


Have an opinion about the Amazon Fire TV? Sound off below in the comments!

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