Amazon said to be launching its set-top box next week

By , Mar 27, 2014

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Following reports from last week that Amazon is planning to launch its long-awaited Apple TV competitor in next month, Amazon has sent out invites for a media event scheduled for April 2nd. The invitations ask that reporters join the company for an ’update’ on its video business.

And according to a new report from Recode, the e-commerce giant is going to use the event to unveil a new set-top box device. Citing sources familiar with Amazon’s plans, the outlet says the device will be capable of streaming media to TV sets, competing directly with Apple and Roku…

Here’s Recode’s Peter Kafka:

Amazon’s entry into the set-top box world, which has been delayed for months, is coming next week, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.The e-commerce giant has invited reporters to gather for an “update on our video business” in New York next Wednesday, April 2.

The popcorn and couch in the image give you a pretty good idea of what to expect, as does our previous reporting, which explained that Amazon has been preparing a Web-to-TV gadget for many months. 

In a recent report, The Wall Street Journal said that Amazon had distributed a pre-production version of its streaming device to select app developers. The hardware appeared similar to Google’s Chromecast dongle, ran on a special version of Android, and featured Amazon’s ‘Fire’ branding.

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In addition to Amazon’s Instant Video and other streaming services like Netflix, the device is also expected to support apps and games. The company recently acquired ‘Killer Instinct’ developer Double Helix, and photos of an Amazon-branded game controller leaked online earlier this month.

On a related note, Apple is also said to be readying a new device for the living room. But there’s no word on when it will be unveiled to the public.

Tune in next Wednesday, as we’ll be following Amazon’s media event and reporting back with any announcements worth noting.

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