Amazon made a budget Fire TV Stick for the rest of the world
Amazon has unveiled the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition in over 100 countries including Canada, France, Italy and Spain. It costs €60 in Europe, but has been temporarily marked down to €40 for Prime customers. Amazon recently launched Prime Video around the world (both with and without the regular Prime service), so the device is a way to get folks on it without the need for a computer or smartphone. “This makes streaming content from apps like Prime Video fast and easy,” said Fire TV VP Marc Whitten.
The Fire TV Stick Basic Edition comes with quad-core processor, 1GB of memory and 8GB of storage, so despite the name, it appears to be the same as the $40 Fire TV Stick currently sold in the US. The main difference is that the US version comes with an Alexa remote that can take voice commands, while the Basic Edition has, well, a basic remote.
Amazon is investing billions to create content for Prime Video, one of the few services that is available without the main Prime subscription. That includes movies and its own original shows like Man in the High Castle (above). Folks looking for a streaming service without fast deliveries and other Prime perks can get it for $3/€3 per month in 200 countries around the world.
The problem is that streaming Amazon Prime to your big-screen TV is a pain for many in Europe, unless you own a Chromecast, set-top box, or TV that supports it. By offering a stripped-down Fire TV Stick for €40 — the same price as a Chromecast dongle — Amazon is no doubt hoping more folks will be motivated to subscribe to Prime or at least Prime Video.
While Amazon has managed to roll Prime Video out around the world, the same can’t be said for its Echo products using the Alexa service. They’re available in the US and UK, and the retail giant recently released the Echo in India (in English only). The only other language supported is German (in Austria and Germany), but Alexa still isn’t available Latin language-based countries like France, Spain and Italy.
You can order the Fire TV Stick Basic Edition now in 100 nations, with local availability in Canada, France, Italy and Spain. Bear in mind that it doesn’t work in 4K, however — for that, you’ll need the $70 Fire TV dongle. Unfortunately, since that product is tied at the hip with Alexa, it’s not available in European nations other than, yep, the UK and Germany.