Rumor roundup: What to expect from Amazon's new streamer

Amazon is holding a press conference on Wednesday, April 2nd, where it is widely rumored that the company will announce a streaming video device. Here's what the Internet rumor mill says we'll see.

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Amazon

Amazon sent out invites for a press event for this Wednesday, and all signs point to this being the release of the long-rumored Amazon streaming video device.

There has been speculation of an Amazon streaming device since about a year ago, but the recent flood of rumors seems to indicate that it may finally be on its way. Here's a roundup of all the rumors regarding Amazon's mystery device.

Amazon's streamer could be a stick

Following in the footsteps of the Google Chromecast and Roku Streaming Stick, TechCrunch reports reports that Amazon's streaming device will have a "stick" form factor, rather than a set-top box.

Likely based on Android

The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon's streamer will run its own customized version of Android. That's the same strategy the company uses on its tablets, so it's not surprising that it would use the same approach on its streaming video device.

Netflix and Hulu Plus (among others) may be supported

There's no doubt that any Amazon-produced streaming device will feature the company's Amazon Instant streaming platform front and center. According to Gigaom, the device will also support Netflix and Hulu Plus, indicating that the device won't be just for Amazon's video (and possibly music) content. The Wall Street Journal also says Netflix and Hulu Plus are coming, along with Pandora.

Advertising-supporting TV service?

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Amazon is "considering an advertising-supported streaming television and music-video service". However, an Amazon spokesperson recently denied that the company is working on a "free streaming-media service", so it's unclear exactly how advertising would affect pricing. There's no indication that this would necessarily be announced with the new streaming device, but it would be a way for Amazon to differentiate its new gadget from the strong competitors that are always on the market.

There could be a focus on gaming

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Will Amazon's rumored set-top box come with this Bluetooth game controller?Dave Zatz

There are quite a few rumors that Amazon's new device will support gaming in addition to traditional video playback. Dave Zatz tracked down photos of an Amazon-branded Bluetooth gaming controller, featuring Android-style buttons such as home and back. TechCrunch also reports that Amazon may offer streaming PC games, working in a similar fashion to OnLive or PlayStation Now.

Price? Name? All unknown

While some details have leaked out, any specific information on the name or price of the device is still unknown. The only small nugget of info comes from the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Amazon's streamer will be released in April and be sold at Amazon and other retailers, such as Best Buy and Staples.

Follow CNET's liveblog on Wednesday

CNET will be on site for Amazon's press event on Wednesday, April 2 in New York, complete with a liveblog, so be sure to tune in to see what Amazon has in store.

 

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