The New Set Top Box from Amazon

The New Set Top Box from Amazon

amazon-chromecastAmazon’s upcoming “set top box” will reportedly be a Chromecast-style dongle with the capability to support streaming full PC game titles as well as video.

Roku recently launched a similar device with a stick design. However, Amazon could distinguish itself by linking to direct video as well as game downloads directly from its e-commerce website. The streaming part of the new product would be similar to remote game services offered by OnLive.

Assuming Amazon’s stick launches as expected, this leaves Apple’s TV offering looking downright clunky, despite it’s initially groundbreaking form factor. Tim Cook recently stated that Apple TV was no longer a hobby for Apple, but it no longer has any real positive differentiation from competition. The dongle form factor that is now popular shows just how commoditized and easy to produce set top streaming devices have become. With so many rumors of a major new TV initiative from Apple, can it really introduce anything truly groundbreaking in this increasingly crowded field?