Amazon has a new Echo and a new Fire TV and they're actually the same cube-shaped box, the Amazon Fire TV Cube. The $119.99 smart streaming box and Alexa device is up for pre-order with shipping on 21 June - and it's $89.99 for Prime users if you're quick.
The Fire TV Cube is aiming to be a do-it-all living room device. It does everything a Fire TV does which gets you access to apps and streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, HBO GO, Hulu, Sling, PlayStation Vue, with an enhanced UI and an Amazon remote. It handles 4K streaming up to 60 fps, supports HDR and Dolby Atmos and there's an Ethernet adapter on board too.
Read this: Amazon Alexa missing manual
But otherwise it's all about the Alexa voice controls. With eight built-in, far-field microphones and a built-in speaker, it's always listening for your Alexa commands and will work even when your TV is switched off. The Fire TV Cube can be used to control your TV, soundbar, home theater setup and cable boxes from Comcast, Dish and DirecTV (thanks to a multidirectional IR blaster and CDC tech via HDMI) all via Alexa, not to mention the smart home controls once you hook up more kit around the room and house.
Another obvious but useful feature - the Fire TV Cube also turns your TV into an Echo Show. So if you ask about the weather forecast or daily briefing, these will appear as text/animations onscreen. Phone calls and messaging aren't supported yet, though, but this could be a big move for Amazon fully taking over our TV screens.
You'll be able to search for apps, movies and channels via Alexa, even when the TV is off, move around the interface and switch between cable services. It's all designed to be seamless when it comes to voice controlling what you want to watch from different sources.
We don't have availability for the UK and Europe yet and the Fire TV Cube hasn't shown up on Amazon UK yet. That $119.99 price should be low enough to tempt a lot of people, even if they already have an Echo and US buyers can get a $10 Prime Video movie credit.