Amazon has sent out invites to select press to attend an Amazon Video event next week in New York City. Aside from the rumored Amazon Video set-top box, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the company will also launch a free, ad-supported video service that'll be paired up with the device that will allow customers to watch television shows and music videos gratis.
It should be noted that this isn't Amazon taking its current video product and making it free--rather, it would likely be a small subset. All of the Amazon original series, and anything specifically licensed. The company would likely still keep the best stuff for Amazon Prime customers.
What do you think? Would an inexpensive set-top box with free streaming content be enough to get you to buy one?
This morning Amazon sent out invitations for an April 2nd event that invites us to "Please join us for an update on our video business." In the background is a couch, with a few pieces of popcorn spilled on it. It looks like the company may finally launch the long-rumored Amazon Video set-top box, a product that would compete with devices like the Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku products. Amazon's box may even differentiate itself by offering gaming right out of the gate, as we saw a prototype of an Amazon game controller leaked a couple of weeks ago. There are plenty of Android games that Amazon could see success with with game controller support built-in.
We'll know for sure on April 2, and we'll bring you the full details.
Update: It looks like Amazon may also launch a free video streaming service at this event as well!
If you thought Nintendo wasn't serious about bringing more than just video games over to the Wii U console, think again. This morning during its E3 Media Briefing, Nintendo announced four popular streaming video options that'll be available on Wii U at launch: Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video. That's not all, though. While you'll be able to watch content from these four service, Nintendo also announced plans for a dual-screen experience with each one. Imagine, for example, that while watching a movie on Netflix, you could pull up all sorts of related content, facts, maps, and other information about that movie on the Wii U GamePad when it launches later this year. Could be interesting, and it sounds a lot like Xbox SmartGlass.
MG over at TechCrunch got to spend some time playing with Amazon's upcoming Kindle Tablet, and has reported back with a bunch of impressions that have us excited for what's to come. There are no pictures of the device, as that was a condition of him being able to even experience the new Kindle to begin with, but MG paints a nice picture for us of what we are guessing will be the hottest tablet this holiday season that isn't named "iPad 2." For starters, it's an Android tablet, but Amazon has forked Android and has completely overtaken the UI, so it won't look or feel like the typical Android software. The book reader app is similar to what you'd find on iOS and Android, but this Kindle is more than just books--it brings Amazon's entire ecosystem to your hands. That means you get the books, Amazon Cloud Player for music, Amazon Video on Demand for television and movies, access to the Amazon storefront, etc. It even appears that Amazon will be giving purchasers of the tablet a free subscription to Amazon Prime, which itself costs $79 per year.