Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City are now compatible with the Fire TV Stick 2

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When the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 was released, it was evident that it was a far more capable gaming device than its predecessor due to the nearly 200 games that can run on the Fire TV Stick 2 that can’t run on the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick. However, there are still around 300 games that are available to the Fire TV boxes which the Fire TV Stick 2 can’t play. That list of unavailable games for the Fire TV Stick 2 initially included all of the Grand Theft Auto games, but now GTA III and GTA: Vice City have been made compatible with the Fire TV Stick 2. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 removes the option to adjust display size

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Amazon has made an unusual and unfortunate decision to remove the ability to adjust the display size on the new Fire TV Stick 2. If you navigate to the Display area of the Settings menu on the new device, there is still an option to Calibrate Display. However, selecting the option no longer brings up a prompt to press UP and DOWN to zoom the visible area in and out. Instead, static arrows are displayed with a message instructing you to “adjust the zoom or overscan setting on your TV.”

This is quite an annoying change to many customers, including myself, who have TVs that crop the edges of the Fire TV Stick’s video output, but don’t have the option to adjust zoom/overscan settings on the TV itself. It’s unclear if the removal of screen calibration will be limited to the new Fire TV Stick 2, or if a future software update will remove the option from all Fire TV and Fire TV Stick models. If you’re among the many Fire TV and Fire TV Stick owners who rely on your device’s built-in display calibration setting, now would be a good time to let Amazon know you don’t want the option removed and/or want it added to the Fire TV Stick 2.

Update

10/23/17
If you have found this article because your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick is zoomed in and you’re looking for a solution, simply hold down the BACK and FAST-FORWARD button on your remote to turn off the new screen magnifier option. Note that the BACK button is not the same as the REWIND button. The BACK button is the one to the left of the HOME button.

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Sideloading and Kodi fully working on the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2

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The most common question I’m getting about the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is whether or now Amazon has done anything to block sideloading apps or running Kodi. I’m happy to say that it doesn’t look like anything has changed with either of those two things on the new device. You can sideload 3rd-party apps just like you can on all Fire TV models. Kodi is working on the Fire TV Stick 2 and appears on the home screen. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 shipping with software version 5.2.2.0 and old interface

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Even though the official release day for the new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 isn’t until tomorrow, some customers are already receiving their orders early. One such customer sent me the above image to confirm that, as expected, the Fire TV Stick 2 is arriving with a new software version 5.2.2.0 (build 555164120). Unfortunately, the new Fire TV interface is not included in this new software version. We’ll have to wait for a software update to add the new interface.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 Q&A Discussion

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The new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is starting to arrive early to some customers. I haven’t received mine yet, but go ahead and post any questions you have in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them once it arrives. If you’ve already received your new Fire TV Stick 2, it’d be great if you could help answer questions as well.

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First look at the all-new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 in the wild

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A reader of the site, who wishes to remain anonymous, just sent me these pictures of the 2nd-generation Amazon Fire TV Stick 2. These are the first shots we have of the device and packaging in the wild. Those of you familiar with the 1st-gen Fire TV Stick will notice that the new hardware is notable larger than the previous generation. Judging by the “Empty Display Box” sticker on the front of the packaging, I’m guessing the Fire TV Stick 2 has arrived at retail stores already, which is likely where these pictures were taken. If you’re eager to get your hands on the Fire TV Stick 2 before its official October 20th release date, you may want to give your local Best Buy, Staples, Target, or other such retailer a try and ask them to check if they have any in the back.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 includes the same voice remote as before

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Amazon has named the voice remote that ships with the new Fire TV Stick 2 an “Alexa Voice Remote.” The inclusion of the word “Alexa” raised questions on whether the remote was a new model or the same voice remote that comes with the Fire TV 2, since Amazon never used the word “Alexa” to describe the existing voice remote. It seems all but certain that it’s not a new remote because Amazon just updated the existing voice remote’s product page and added “Alexa” to the products name.

In contrast, when Amazon did release a new voice remote model last year, they gave it its own product page instead of updating the older models listing. As for which version of the existing voice remote is included with the Fire TV Stick 2, my money is on the hard plastic version, as opposed to the soft-touch plastic remote, because the images used show non-glossy buttons and a black Amazon logo. The slightly more premium soft-touch plastic remote has glossy buttons and a grey Amazon logo.

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 can play many top games not available on the previous model

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The all-new Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is unquestionablly more powerful than the first generation model it repalces. Nowhere is that more evident than with the new device’s game selection. A vast majority of the best games in the Fire TV app store used to only be available to Fire TV box owners, but the improved performance of the new Fire TV Stick 2 has now made a large portion of those games accessible on a much less expensive device. Amazon’s site currently indicates there are 182 games that are compatible with the new Fire TV Stick 2, which are not compatible with the first generation Fire TV Stick.

Notably still missing from the Fire TV Stick 2’s app library are popular games like Minecraft, Terraria, the Telltale games, and the GTA games. However, top games like Doom & Destiny, Shovel Knight, Leo’s Fortune, SHADOWGUN, Disney games, and dozens more are now playable on a device that costs less than some game controllers. I’ve put together a list of 48 games that caught my eye, which are not compatible with the old Fire TV Stick but are compatible with the new one. Read more ›

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Benchmark comparison of Fire TV Stick 2 to all other Fire TV models

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Amazon says the new Fire TV Stick 2 is 30% faster than the previous generation Fire TV Stick, however they don’t clarify on how they came up with that figure. While I don’t have the new device on hand to run through benchmark tests, I do have the next best thing, and that’s the Fire 7″ tablet. That’s because the Fire TV Stick 2 and the Fire tablet use the exact same CPU, GPU, and RAM. The two devices probably won’t perform exactly the same, but with identical hardware where it counts the most, the Fire tablet is a perfect substitute to give us a pretty good idea of the new Fire TV Stick 2’s performance. Here’s a CPU and GPU comparison of a theoretical Fire TV Stick 2 compared to all 3 other Fire TV models. Read more ›

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Amazon Fire TV Stick 2 is notably bigger than the previous generation

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The new Fire TV Stick 2 may look exactly like the previous generation Fire TV Stick, but the new model is notably larger. It probably won’t matter to most, but for those of you who already have a hard time fitting the current Fire TV Stick between other HDMI connectors, know that it will be even more difficult with the new model. Thankfully though, the new Fire TV Stick 2 includes an HDMI extender cable, like was included with the non-voice Fire TV Stick; not the female HDMI adapter that was included with the Fire TV Stick with Voice remote bundle which required an HDMI cable to be used.

The voice remote that comes with the new Fire TV Stick 2 appears to be exactly the same as the existing WiFi-direct based voice remote that comes with the Fire TV 2. The dimensions are identical and the images Amazon is using are pixel-for-pixel identical to the existing voice remote images. The fact that there hasn’t been an FCC submission for a new voice remote is also a good indicator that they’re using the same one. As for whether the included voice remote is the more expensive soft-touch plastic variety or the cheaper hard plastic type, I would guess it’s the cheaper one since the buttons don’t appear to be shiny.

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