clock menu more-arrow no yes

Amazon's TV Box Gets Some More Serious Video Games

Several of Playcast's games have never been available before on Android-based devices such as Amazon's Fire TV.

Gamefly

The Fire TV, Amazon’s 2014 answer to set-top boxes like Roku and Apple TV, was supposed to have its own gaming identity, with both original titles made by Amazon Game Studios and a focus on “mid-market” games.

In practice, though, the 700-plus game titles currently available on Fire TV have trended toward the casual and overlapped heavily with Amazon’s existing Android Appstore — meaning they didn’t wring much extra value out of the TV box’s $40 controller. A new app called Playcast thinks it can inject some more diversity into the system.

Playcast, an Israeli company now owned by game rental company GameFly, is launching a cloud-based game-streaming service in the U.S. today, and it’ll start exclusively on Fire TV. Rather than paying a flat rate as one might for Netflix (even though Playcast is billing itself as a “Netflix for games”), the service will instead offer bundles of games for varying monthly subscription prices.

Several of those games — including Batman: Arkham Asylum, Fear 3 and Grid 2 — do not yet have mobile versions, meaning the Fire TV may be a cheaper way to get them for gamers who don’t own a console or gaming PC.

Terms of GameFly’s acquisition of Playcast were not disclosed. Competitors in the game-streaming space include Nvidia, which offers a service called Grid, and Sony, which streams its older titles to the PlayStation 4 via a service called PlayStation Now; in April, Sony acquired the patents of an erstwhile competitor, OnLive.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.