Amazon has announced the availability of a new Basic version of the Fire TV Stick that doesn’t feature Alexa in over 100 countries.
The Fire TV Stick, measuring about three inches long, enables users to stream content including TV shows, movies, subscription services, music, photos, and games onto a compatible TV through the HDMI port. It comes loaded with a remote, a USB cable and power adapter, HDMI extender and 2 AAA batteries. The device has a quad-core processor, 1 GB of memory, 8 GB of storage and a dedicated VideoCore4 GPU.
The Basic edition does not have Alexa, Amazon’s digital voice assistant but has settings that support seven languages. It will therefore be able to serve different audiences across the world. The device is moderately priced at $49.99.
The Fire TV Stick and Fire TV have been available to U.S. consumers only. The global availability is a natural progression for Amazon since it availed Amazon Prime video to more than 200 countries last year. If a consumer is an Amazon Prime member, the Fire TV Stick comes pre-registered to one’s account giving them access to content available for that plan.
The device not only allows users to access Amazon Prime Video, but also makes available other video streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, HBO Now, ESPN or Hulu. Users can also access any music and videos purchased through their Amazon account. In addition, they can view any pictures uploaded to their Amazon Cloud service. According to Marc Whitten, vice president of Amazon Fire TV, the introduction of the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition to a worldwide audience is meant to capitalize on the availability of Amazon Prime Video to the same audience.