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Amazon Fire TV (as a game console)


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#1 blueshogun96   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1041

Posted 11 June 2014 - 02:08 PM

So, what is everyone's opinion of the amazon fire TV so far as a game console is concerned? I haven't seen any threads so far, so I thought I'd start one.

I didn't know what Fire TV was until I saw a poster here at work advertising its debut. So I went to the presentation, and got to check out the gaming capabilities. I wish I would have known about this before, so I could get my game up and running on it during or after launch time to at least get in before the market penetration rate goes beyond 2%.

So far, it looks like an interesting device. I bought one last week, but haven't tried any games yet, because I'm more interested in getting my game finished and ported during the small amount of time I have outside of my day career. Working at Amazon has set definitely given me an advantage in one way or another though. I learned and discovered so much here.

My only issue with it so far is that there's no OpenGL ES 3.0 support. I dunno if the GPU supports it, but Amazon does not appear to have any sense of urgency to support anything beyond ES 2.0. Even blackberry supports ES 3.0! Oh well, I can get away with using ES 2.0 on my current title, and it already does anyway.

So, what are your opinions of this device so far? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Anyone else targeting it so far?

Shogun.

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#2 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 7738

Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:28 PM

I think the interesting thing about it, really, is the fact that Amazon has a huge user-base already participating in their ecosystem. If you have a kindle, buy Kindle books to read on your phone or PC, or even just buy physical goods from Amazon, they already have your payment info and such. From that perspective, the Kindle tablets were already the largest single platform within the larger Android ecosystem. This just expands that ecosystem to your television. It's also pretty much confirmed that amazon is announcing a phone of their own on the 19th, running what one would assume is the same flavor of android running on the kindle/fireTV.

 

Hardware wise, its not precisely bleeding edge, but there's not really been a compelling reason for what's essentially phone/tablet hardware to play host to AAA-level games -- very few people want that on their phone or tablet, without a controller -- people prefer short-form, pick-up-and-play content there, mostly. There are niche users now, of course, but a mainstream-successful android set-top-box is something new -- something that could host that kind oflong-form AAA content adequately, but which is in its current form, hampered by its roots as a tablet-class device.

 

The other wild-card is that Sony announced that they would launch the Playstation TV, based on the Vita hardware, in the US and Europe this year. As a gaming platform, PlaystationTV has a slight leg up on hardware specs, a stable of existing games (any Vita title that doesn't rely on touchscreen/camera) -- both long and short-form, the ability to act as a second screen for your PS4, and the just-announced PSN feature of streaming PS3 games over the internet. And that's in addition to doing all the media things that FireTV will do -- it just won't act as another portal into Amazon's marketplace. Including the cost of a FireTV controller, Playstation TV will come in cheaper with a controller and pack-in game to boot.

 

Its difficult to say how it'll play out.



#3 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1283

Posted 11 June 2014 - 04:48 PM

Slight thumbs down -

 

I bought one to export my game to. My game didn't work on it, which makes the system almost useless.

 

With that said, there are some redeeming factors. Such as Sev Zero, which is really fun, and it makes a good console for playing No Brakes Valet.



#4 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 889

Posted 12 June 2014 - 06:48 AM

Seems rather like the Ouya in being an low cost Android-based console with specs similar to phones rather than consoles. But I still think it's a good thing, as competition is good, and Amazon will be able to give it the marketing push it needs.

Consoles seem to be a popular way of getting online TV for older non-smart TVs - doing it at a price that's far lower than competing consoles, and offering more functionality than the basic standalone TV-streaming boxies, seems a good idea (though the likes of Chromecast and Now TV now do this at a much cheaper price, for those who only want the TV side of things).


http://erebusrpg.sourceforge.net/ - Erebus, Open Source RPG for Windows/Linux/Android
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux

#5 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 7738

Posted 12 June 2014 - 01:03 PM


I bought one to export my game to. My game didn't work on it, which makes the system almost useless.

 

Wait... What did you expect? If you wrote the engine yourself, you should expect there to be some porting pains. If you're using an engine like Unity and its export feature, you should expect that it's not going to just work without intervention on a brand-new platform.

 

And that maybe makes it 'disappointing', but not 'useless'.


Edited by Ravyne, 12 June 2014 - 01:03 PM.


#6 blueshogun96   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1041

Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:50 PM

 


I bought one to export my game to. My game didn't work on it, which makes the system almost useless.

 

Wait... What did you expect? If you wrote the engine yourself, you should expect there to be some porting pains. If you're using an engine like Unity and its export feature, you should expect that it's not going to just work without intervention on a brand-new platform.

 

And that maybe makes it 'disappointing', but not 'useless'.

 

 

Wait, does me mean "port" or "export"?  Those are two different words.  Anyone can side load an Android app onto a Fire TV console, but of course you have to add support for the gamepad, remote, etc. in order for it to be playable.  Aside from that, there's a 75% chance that your game will at least run when side loaded.  Mine does, but there's no touch controls, so I could not interact with it.  Amazon's mobile OS might be a modified Android OS, but it's not completely identical to Android either.

 

Shogun.


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#7 Shane C   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1283

Posted 13 June 2014 - 06:33 PM

 


I bought one to export my game to. My game didn't work on it, which makes the system almost useless.

 

Wait... What did you expect? If you wrote the engine yourself, you should expect there to be some porting pains. If you're using an engine like Unity and its export feature, you should expect that it's not going to just work without intervention on a brand-new platform.

 

And that maybe makes it 'disappointing', but not 'useless'.

 

 

True. However, the console also has other problems. No on/off button, a couple games on the store didn't work correctly, and yet others were buggy. Expect a tablet experience or worse.

 

Had it not been for these problems, I would have completely forgiven the problems I faced.


Edited by Shane C, 13 June 2014 - 06:34 PM.





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