Yesterday, Amazon announced the Fire TV set-top box, positioned as a competitor to Apple TV, Ouya and Roku rather than a device intended to rival Microsoft and Sony's new systems.
A significant part of the new system's supposed appeal comes from games, though; the option is right there on the main menu, and you can even purchase a dedicated controller for the system, though unlike the Ouya, it's sold separately from the main unit. Amazon has been fairly tight-lipped on the subject of games so far, steadfastly resisting any attempts to find out what its future plans for interactive entertainment are -- particularly what its recent acquisition Double Helix is up to -- but in the meantime, nearly 150 games have quietly snuck out onto the new platform, largely in the form of ports from existing Android versions of games.
Prices for games on Fire TV currently range from free to $9.99, and the selection is largely what you'd expect from an Android-based marketplace, combining disposable free-to-play shovelware with a few decent-quality titles such as Telltale's The Walking Dead. Fire TV exclusives are fairly thin on the ground so far, though, with the only one announced to date being Amazon Game Studios' own rather generic-sounding Sev Zero, which blends elements of tower defense and third-person shooter similar to Coffee Stain Studios' excellent Sanctum series. This being the Age of Second-Screen Gaming, a friend can also help you out by, as always, calling in airstrikes from a tablet device. Yippee.
In the Free bracket, standout titles include You Don't Know Jack Party, a four-player local versus version of the popular irreverent virtual quiz show; Telltale's The Walking Dead Season One, which you can start playing for free before paying for the other episodes; Gameloft's unfortunately microtransaction-stuffed but otherwise quite good racer Asphalt 8; the fantastic Zen Pinball 2 (though note that you'll have to pay for tables); and the excellent Star Fox-alike ARC Squadron.
Jump up to the $0.99 bracket and you're in a world of pixel art. Titles worth checking out include pixelated platformer League of Evil; bizarre retro title Super Mega Worm; and the distinctly Amiga game-esque Super Daddio 2.
Around the $1.99 mark, you may want to check out Nicoll Hunt's enjoyable brawler Fist of Awesome; Big Fish Games hidden object adventure Mystery Case Files: Return to Ravenhearst; and the episodic Mystery Castle games, which seem to be well-loved by community reviewers on Amazon.
Jump up to $2.99 and we start to see some more recognizable names; Sega has several Sonic the Hedgehog games available, for example, and you can also get your hands on the Double Dragon Trilogy if you fancy some retro brawler action. Rayman Fiesta Run is also an excellent, simple platformer that's well worth your time, and you can't beat Canabalt for some endless runner action.
There's not much of note around the $3.99 mark save for Episode I of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 -- probably the cheapest means of playing this game on your TV.
For $4.99 you can get your hands on Episode II of Sonic the Hedgehog 4, popular 2D Minecraft-alike Terraria or Crazy Taxi. There's also the inevitable version of Tetris -- thankfully not the atrocious EA version from iOS -- along with Ron Gilbert's adventure The Cave, 11 Bit Studios' excellent "tower offense" game Anomaly 2 and Sega's Virtua Tennis.
The obvious standout title at the $6.99 mark is Minecraft: Pocket Edition, but for this price you can also get your hands on Gameloft's unsubtle Call of Duty ripoff Modern Combat 4, the aforementioned Fire TV exclusive Sev Zero and Square Enix's Deus Ex: The Fall.
There's not much available for $7.99 right now, but sports fans may want to check out NBA 2K14 if they don't already have something to play this on.
And finally, the only game presently available for $9.99 is the Kemco RPG Alphadia Genesis. I would perhaps question the likely quality of the game's translation based on its promotional artwork.
You can check out the full list of Fire TV games here. What do you think? Anything there to make you want one?