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Amazon announced the new Echo Show 10, a $250 device with a screen that turns to follow you around the room — and which will soon add Netflix support.
The company also took the wraps off Luna, a new cloud gaming service running on AWS with 50-plus titles at launch and an initial subscription price of $6 per month, a new $99 Echo speaker with a spherical shape, and enhancements to the Alexa voice assistant. Amazon made the announcements as part of its holiday-season devices and services preview Thursday.
However, the ecommerce giant did not provide any update on the status of bringing WarnerMedia’s HBO Max or NBCUniversal’s Peacock to Fire TV devices. In an interview, Marc Whitten, Amazon’s VP of entertainment devices and services, declined to comment on “ongoing negotiations” but called both WarnerMedia and NBCU “incredible partners.”
The Echo Show 10 will rotate to show you the screen as you wander around a room, using a virtually silent brushless motor and motion-sensing processing (which remains local to the device, Amazon emphasized. You can turn motion off by sliding the built-in camera shutter closed, adjusting the settings or by saying, “Alexa, turn off motion.”
And, in addition to support for Prime Video and Hulu, Echo Show will soon be able to stream Netflix simply by asking Alexa, with the ability to search, browse, and stream the entire catalog.
“Bringing Netflix to [the Echo Show] sort of takes it to the next level,” said Dave Limp. Amazon’s SVP of devices and services.
The Echo Show 10 features a brighter 10-inch HD screen and a 13-megapixel camera. Available in charcoal and glacier white, the device will “start shipping in time for the holidays,” the company said.
Amazon announced a new Fire TV Stick ($40) and the new Fire TV Stick Lite ($30), which both provide full-HD 1080p streaming with HDR compatibility and the Alexa Voice Remote and a faster 1.7 GHz quad-core processor. Whitten said both models are 50% faster than the prior-generation Fire TV Stick and consume 50% less power.
In addition, the company previewed a new personalized Fire TV interface, which puts the Main Menu at the center of the screen — so you can jump into streaming services directly or see what’s inside to begin playback. The new UI also will let you add up to six Fire TV user profiles, each with individual settings like content recommendations, viewing history, watch lists and preferred settings. The redesigned Fire TV experience will begin rolling out later this year, starting with the new Fire TV Stick and Fire TV Stick Lite.
On the gaming front, Amazon Luna will let customers play games on their on Fire TV, PC, and Mac as well as on web apps for iPhone and iPad, with Android coming soon.
Players can subscribe to the Luna Plus game channel for $6 per month during an early-access period. The service initially will include action games like “Resident Evil 7,” “Control” and “Panzer Dragoon”; adventure games like “A Plague Tale: Innocence” and “The Surge 2”; platform games like “Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair” and “Iconoclasts”; and fan favorites like “GRID,” “ABZU” and “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.”
Amazon also announced a new gaming channel with Ubisoft, available directly through Luna (with pricing yet to be announced). Players who subscribe to the Ubisoft channel will have access to games in up to 4K resolution, as well as mobile gameplay, including upcoming titles like “Assassins Creed Valhalla,” “Far Cry 6” and “Immortals Fenyx Rising” the same day they release.
“We created Luna to make it easy to play great games on the devices customers already own and love,” Whitten said.
More to come
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