Sometimes you just have to wonder what companies were thinking with their recent updates. In depressing news for gamers using Amazon Fire TVs to get their gaming fix, it’s been reported that the most recent Fire TV software update has removed support for Amazon’s own gaming controllers. Why would Amazon shoot themselves in the foot and potentially anger its customers?
Amazon Fire TV news site AFTV reports that one likely reason for Amazon removing support for their own controller is the “complexity of continuing to support the proprietary WiFi-direct connection method” Amazon Fire TVs use to connect with controllers. Many Fire TV users have been confused by the fact that their Fire TVs broadcast their own WiFi networks, leading to many negative reviews and undoubtedly quite a few tech support calls.
According to the controller’s product page, Amazon’s controllers still work with the Fire TV Stick but are no longer supported by Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD – Pendant Design, Fire TV Edition smart TVs, or the Fire TV Cube. Amazon Fire TVs still support standard Bluetooth game controllers and even the 1st-generation Fire TV game controller – although that model has long since been discontinued.
Amazon introduced the Fire TV Game Controller in 2014 alongside their second-generation Fire TV set-top boxes which included support for popular streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Many Fire TV models can be used to download and play hundreds of games from the Amazon app store, including some of today’s most popular games like LEGO Star Wars and Minecraft.
It’s unclear how many Fire TV users actually used their devices for gaming, but given that Amazon is removing support for its own gaming hardware, it’s likely that the numbers can’t be too high. Still, given that most Bluetooth controllers will still work for gaming on the Amazon Fire TV devices, this news can’t be considered too bad for those gamers; a standard third-party Bluetooth Android controller can be purchased for less than $10 – on Amazon, of course.