Amazon wants to bring back family game night with Echo Buttons

Echo Buttons are now available for purchase for your next game night

During its surprise Alexa-themed event on Wednesday, September 27, Amazon revealed a new gaming-centric peripheral for Alexa-compatible devices. Echo Buttons, which look like mini Staples Easy Buttons, were designed to encourage developers to make games for Amazon’s Echo line of Alexa-enabled products. Now, nearly three months after their big reveal, Echo Buttons are available for purchase.

Third-party developers will be able to use Echo Buttons’ Gadget API to create games that play through devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show. The Echo Buttons were shown off with a sample of a trivia game using the Echo Dot in conjunction with the Buttons. When off, the actual buttons are white, but they illuminate either red or blue when active.

Given that the buttons merely have single-touch functionality, don’t expect any elaborate games. It is more likely that we will see different sorts of trivia and board games, the kind that appeal to a family game night in the living room. Hasbro is currently developing a version of Trivial Pursuit for use with the Echo Buttons, but so far that is the only confirmed game for Alexa devices.

Echo Buttons are being sold in two-packs for $20, and of course, are eligible for Prime shipping. If you enjoy party games or want something to do during family get-togethers around the holidays, Echo Buttons are an intriguing Echo add-on for the price. We’ll just have to wait and see if more developers show interest in developing for the API.

Echo Button

Echo Buttons were just one of several new products revealed at Amazon’s event. The second-generation Amazon Echo, dubbed the Cloth Echo, is approximately half the size of the original Echo and goes for $99 (yes, it is also covered in cloth). Meanwhile, for users who prefer the look of the first Echo, the Echo Plus retains the look of the original while being marketed as a smart home hub to go directly against Apple’s AirPod and Google Home. The Echo Plus retails for $150.

If you still have a landline phone, the Echo Connect ($35) lets you make calls through your Alexa device using your home phone number. Also, Amazon revealed the Echo Spot ($130), which lets you view security camera footage through its circular screen for $130.

Lastly, Amazon showed off its latest Fire TV, which is the first in the series to support 4K and HDR resolutions. And, naturally, the $70 Fire TV stick also comes with Alexa capabilities.

Update: Echo Buttons are available for purchase. 


Amazon knocks $50 off the Sonos Beam soundbar and smart speaker

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

Polk Audio’s Command Bar joins Alexa’s multiroom music party

Polk's Command Bar is a home theater soundbar with Alexa built in. But with a new update, it can also be grouped with Amazon's Echo products and other third-party speakers for a multi-room experience.

Play your games whenever you want with a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch uses cartridge-based games, but its internal storage may fill up quicker than you would think. Here's what you should consider when picking out a MicroSD card to expand your Switch's storage capacity.

Get your pilot skills up to snuff for this week's 'Fortnite' challenge guide

The Fortnite season 7, week 7 challenges are now available. The major challenge this week requires you to visit all the Fortnite expedition outposts in the game and we walk you through how to get to each.

‘Mortal Kombat 11’ is even gorier and crazier than we expected

NetherRealm Studios unveiled Mortal Kombat 11 on January 17 and the game looks to be just as gory and over the top as fans have come to expect. Former MMA fighter Ronda Rousey will appear as Sonya Blade.

Get extra life with our tips and tricks for 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a much more difficult game than you'd believe based on its adorable art style and 2D perspective. Here's how you can master the game's toughest challenges.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe'

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe has two distinct Mario experiences in one package. In this guide, we'll show you how to find all of the secret exits in New Super Mario Bros. U, that lead to hidden levels and let you skip worlds.

Find all of the secret exits and world skips in 'New Super Luigi U Deluxe'

Just like all other 2D Mario games, New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe includes secret exits and world skips. In this guide, we'll show you how to get to all 12 secret exits in New Super Luigi U.

For Netflix, ‘Fortnite’ on YouTube is a bigger threat than HBO

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix explained that it views the video game Fortnite as bigger competition than HBO, with YouTube videos of the game drawing viewers away from the streaming platform.

Take a trip to a new virtual world with one of these awesome HTC Vive games

So you’re considering an HTC Vive, but don't know which games to get? Our list of 25 of the best HTC Vive games will help you out, whether you're into rhythm-based gaming, interstellar dogfights, or something else entirely.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

You could be gaming on AMD’s Navi graphics card before the end of the summer

If you're waiting for a new graphics card from AMD that doesn't cost $700, you may have to wait for Navi. But that card may not be far away, with new rumors suggesting we could see a July launch.