The Fire TV box turns dumb TVs smart, but with stiff competition from Google, Apple and Roku, will voice commands be enough to sway viewers?

Amazon’s streaming set-top box is set to launch in the UK this October for £79, with Amazon Prime subscribers able to pre-order it for jsut £49 until Monday.

The set top box (which comes with a remote as well) plugs into the HDMI port on TVs and connects to a house’s Wi-Fi to offer streaming video and music from the likes of YouTube, Netflix, Sky News and Spotify.

However, Amazon’s negotiations with UK TV channels is obviously far from complete, and BBC, 4OD, ITV and Now TV are all missing in action.

Amazon will hoping to be attract customers instead by selling the box as a fledgling gaming system.

With a quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and an optional game controller, the Fire TV is certainly equipped for gamers but with Minecraft the only recognizable title on offer, it seems more like the disappointing crop of ‘microconsoles’ that were briefly and ingloriously in fashion from 2011 to 2013.

As ever, Amazon Prime subscribers will get more out of the Fire TV, but Amazon is offering a free 30-day Prime trial for anyone who buys the box.

(Prime gives you access to video and music streaming services, 500,000 free ebooks and free two-day shipping for £79 a year).

Amazon is entering a busy marketplace with the Fire TV, with rival systems from Apple, Google and third-party players like Roku all offering similar or comparable services.

Amazon’s main advantage is that it offers voice search direct from the remote control, but will that be enough to sway customers? At least Gary Busey is convinced:

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