Amazon is crowing about its big Fire TV app and channel catalogue this morning (I have to wonder if the timing has anything to do with the Apple TV announcement rumored for next week), but the best part of the announcement is the addition of GameFly, which brings streaming top-tier games to Amazon’s cheap, lightweight set-top box.
GameFly’s presence on the Amazon box is exclusive, in that no other dedicated streaming media device can claim to offer the same. The GameFly service is based on an acquisition of a company called Playcast, and adds to the former company’s previous rental offering. GameFly is also unique among streaming offerings in its pricing mode: It offers bundles of related titles in packages for $6.99 per month, letting you play each included title as much as you like.
Launch titles (there are 40 total) include Darksiders II, the Arkham series of Batman games, Dirt 3 and more, so you won’t get the most current splashy AAA releases, but you will get slightly older games that are still, nonetheless, graphically impressive. Playing the games will require the addition of the Amazon Fire TV Game Controller, but at $40, the price for that isn’t too steep compared to the competition.
This is good news for Amazon’s device and its appeal to more serious gamers, but it’s even better news for the state of streamed gaming more generally. Early entrants like OnLive and their trajectory may have led some to believe the whole concept was a non-starter, but with everyone seemingly getting on board with some kind of streaming service, from Sony, to Nvidia, to now Amazon though the GameFly partnership, it seems like we’re finally stepping into our inevitable future.