Amazon is developing a service for streaming video games over the internet, joining Microsoft, Google, and other companies that are building similar offerings in what could be an important new battleground in online entertainment. Streaming services represent a potentially significant shift in the games business by, in some cases, eliminating the need for players to purchase expensive hardware, such as consoles or PCs, and allowing people to play games on devices with less processing muscle, including smartphones, tablets, and smart televisions. Amazon has begun talking to games publishers about distributing their titles through its service, which isn’t likely to be launched until next year at the earliest.[Jessica Toonkel and Kevin McLaughlin / The Information]
IMDb, the Amazon-owned movie database site, has launched Freedive, a free streaming video channel available in the US. Amazon has stocked the ad-supported on-demand service with a back catalog of movies and TV shows, including past seasons of The Bachelor (seasons 20 and 21), Gilligan’s Island, and Kitchen Nightmares, along with the movies Adaptation, Drive, and True Romance. Freedive also taps into Amazon’s X-Ray feature, which lets viewers access information pulled from IMDb about a title’s cast, crew, trivia, soundtracks, and more. The Freedive service, which will compete with VOD offerings from Tubi, Pluto TV, and Walmart’s Vudu, is available on the IMDb website via computers and on all Amazon Fire TV devices; it will be available soon on mobile devices through the IMDb app. [Todd Spangler / Variety]
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