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Amazon Gaming Controller Leaked for New Set-Top Box

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 7 comments

Photo Credited to Zatz Not Funny!Photo Credited to Zatz Not Funny!

If Amazon is trying to keep its new streaming box under wraps, it's not doing a very good job. The Internet has already gotten its hands on scads of information about the device, and now comes word of of a new gaming controller for it. And it's one of the most convoluted things we've seen in recent memory.

The alleged leaked photos come by way of tech blog Zatz Not Funny! According to Zatz, Amazon has had to clear its box with overseas content regulation agencies. Why Zatz was able to acquire pictures of the controller but not the box itself remains unclear.

MORE: Why You'll Want Amazon's Set-Top Box

The controller itself is something of a monstrosity. The peripheral appears to be huge and blocky, replete with a dizzying array of buttons. In addition to the standard A, B, X, Y, dual-analog stick and D-pad setup, the controller features two sets of shoulder buttons, four navigation buttons in the center, and three media control buttons on the bottom.

Six of the seven unusual buttons are self-evident: back, home, options, play/pause, rewind and fast-forward. The button in the dead-center of the controller is not as straightforward.

If the analog buttons are clickable, this would give the device an unprecedented 21 buttons. If Amazon is hoping to target a non-gamer audience with its streaming box, its controller seems more likely to scare them off than welcome them with open arms.

Beyond the device's questionable design, Zatz claims that the device will function via Bluetooth, and will take two AA batteries rather than using a rechargeable one. Consumers would have to purchase the controller separately from the streaming box, and the peripheral would also function with Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets. It's not clear whether the device would work as an all-purpose Android controller.

The controller could still be a good peripheral, but its design raises a few questions — and eyebrows. If Amazon wants to use its streaming box as an entry point into the gaming space, one of the least comfortable-looking and most complicated controllers on the market is a strange way to do it.

Follow Marshall Honorof @marshallhonorofand on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 2 Hide
    antilycus , March 14, 2014 9:15 AM
    that things is too ugly and outdated to be the final product. I call a mock up that they canned and someone took a picture of.
  • 3 Hide
    DRosencraft , March 14, 2014 2:03 PM
    Really, "dizzying array" of buttons? It has on its face exactly one more button than an Xbox controller, and three simple media buttons where the Xbox headphone jack is. The only significant deviation from an Xbox controller show here is that it's not completely rounded. A little hyperbolic on the rhetoric, don't you think?
  • -2 Hide
    Marshall Honorof , March 14, 2014 2:22 PM
    @DRosencraft - Not necessarily. It's one thing to ask hardcore gamers to adapt to four more buttons on a controller, but if the device is a set-top box first and a gaming machine second, 21 buttons is an awful lot. Casual gamers and young children have been reared on mobile games, which generally use touchscreens instead of buttons. I personally think you'd have a rough time convincing a set-top box's target audience that a controller that's more complicated than a PS4/Xbone's is a good investment, but I guess we'll see.
  • Display all 7 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    genrldisaray , March 14, 2014 2:29 PM
    Quote:
    @DRosencraft - Not necessarily. It's one thing to ask hardcore gamers to adapt to four more buttons on a controller, but if the device is a set-top box first and a gaming machine second, 21 buttons is an awful lot. Casual gamers and young children have been reared on mobile games, which generally use touchscreens instead of buttons. I personally think you'd have a rough time convincing a set-top box's target audience that a controller that's more complicated than a PS4/Xbone's is a good investment, but I guess we'll see.
    You say "adapt to 4 more buttons" like they're not clearly labeled. A controller could have 100 buttons and not be confusing if it's obvious to even a casual user what they do. What would be more confusing to that type of person would be having fewer buttons than regularly used commands, so they would have to remember what combinations of buttons do what. I do agree that the thing could use some ergonomic tweaking though.
  • 2 Hide
    IInuyasha74 , March 14, 2014 3:19 PM
    Its almost completely like an xbox control. There is nothing wrong with it, in fact the multimedia buttons look helpful. I don't understand how you could think its worse than an Xbox control.
  • 0 Hide
    allan_hm , March 16, 2014 3:41 PM
    Actually it was the Brazilian agency ANATEL that leaked the picture of the Amazon controller.http://www1.folha.uol.com.br/tec/2014/03/1425907-site-da-anatel-mostra-fotos-de-controle-de-videogame-da-amazon.shtml
  • 0 Hide
    Algernon Ex , March 17, 2014 4:02 AM
    a keyboard has a lot more "buttons" yet PC gamers have no problem with it. As long as the buttons are used for different purposes (e.g., some for gaming and others for viewing and controlling videos), there is no problem with this controller.
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