Amazon on Wednesday announced that its digital assistant Alexa is heading for France in Echo voice-commanded speakers as of next week. Plus, any visual content you'd normally find on something like an Echo Show will be displayed on your television.
The Amazon Fire TV Cube is now available for pre-order. The device offers similar capabilities to the original Fire TV and Fire TV Stick but adds certain functionality that proves Amazon wants to control your entire living room. You can use your voice to navigate and control Netflix, Prime Video or Hulu content, and believe it or not, the Alexa-powered Fire TV Cube handles not just compatible TVs, but also sound bars, A/V receivers, and set-top boxes from "top providers" like Comcast, Dish, and DirecTV.
Keep in mind that a standard Fire TV costs $69.99, lacking the advanced far-field voice recognition technology and built-in speaker of the 465-gram Cube. There are also apps available in the U.S. for ESPN, Fox Now, Showtime, Starz, PlayStation Vue, CBS All Access, and NBC. All you have to do is ask. It also includes the same beam-forming, noise-reducing, and echo-cancelling tech found in older Echo devices. But the Cube's third feature sets it apart from the competition. This enables users to do things like switching between TV boxes and consoles, searching for shows and controlling the volume. The new device can also do typical Alexa tasks, such as playing "Jeopardy!" or fetching the weather, even when the TV is off.
The Fire TV Cube is a 4K UHD streaming media player that features Alexa.
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"We believe voice makes it easier for customers to control their entertainment systems and watch the TV and movies they care about", said Marc Whitten, Vice President of Fire TV.
Interestingly enough, the Fire TV Cube has some brand new competition on the audio side of things in Sonos' slick and smart new soundbar, the Sonos Beam.
The Cube will be available later this month for $120. The Fire TV Cube is now available to pre-order on Amazon.
The preorders for the Fire TV Cube already live and Prime members can buy it at a discounted price of $89.99, provided they order on June 7th or 8th.