Amazon's Fire TV will double as a casual gaming console

|By:, SA News Editor

The rumors were true: Amazon's (AMZN +0.6%) new streaming set-top will support "thousands" of Android games by next month (live blog). To play them, Amazon is providing an optional $40 controller that comes bundled with 1,000 Amazon coins (normally retails for $9.50) to buy games with, and a tablet controller app. A small number of titles can be played with the Fire TV's bundled remote.

Electronic Arts (EA -0.9%), Take-Two's (TTWO +0.2%) 2K Games unit, Sega, Gameloft, and Disney are among the game developers on board. Amazon, as reported, will also be developing its own titles. The Verge: "The graphics are pretty solid, they seem about on par with what you can get on top-end Android devices. It's not lagging at all."

Should Sony (SNE -0.6%), Ninetendo (NTDOY), and Microsoft be worried? The Fire TV, and perhaps also gaming set-tops reportedly on the way from Apple and Google, are unlikely to compel hard-core gamers to ditch their PS4s and Xbox Ones. But much like mobile devices, they could gain a strong following among consumers wanting a cheap, simple, casual gaming experience.

The Fire TV itself will sell for $99 - the same price as Apple TV and Roku 3. It begins shipping today.

Earlier: Amazon unveils Fire TV set-top