Fire TV adds tablet games, Android mirroring to its bag of tricks

Amazon fireTV kit

Amazon’s Fire TV streaming device scored another victory in the race for set-top box dominance today, announcing an update that allows users who optioned to buy its compatible gaming controller the ability to play “tablet style games.” In addition, the Fire TV added guest display mirroring, allowing any user with a compatible Miracast-enabled mobile device to send content to the big screen viathe box.

Users who want to take advantage of the Fire TV’s expanding crop of games will need to allow their set-top box to update its software, if auto-update hasn’t taken care of the download already. Users can prompt a manual software update by clicking ‘Settings’ from the Home screen, then selecting ‘System.’ In the System window, click on the ‘About’ tab, and select ‘Check for System Update’, which will auto-prompt the download.

After the download is complete, new games will become available in the Play Games & Apps window. From there, simply troll the new list of games, download, and start playing. If you haven’t already bought the separate game controller for your Fire TV, this might be a great time to pony up $40 to get one, or you can use a Nyko PlayPad Pro or an Xbox 360 wired controller. We reached out to Amazon for more specifics, and the company said it currently has 44 tablet games “optimized for Fire TV.”

Guest display mirroring is another handy new feature for Amazon’s fledgeling device, allowing any user with a compatible device to display their mobile screen and accompanying audio on the big screen via the Fire TV. Previously, the mobile device to be mirrored also had to be registered to the same Amazon account as the Fire TV. Compatible devices include Android devices running 4.2 Jelly Bean or higher, the Fire HDX tablet and, if you happen to own one, the Fire Phone.

In addition to those new talents, Amazon also now allows U.S. and U.K. Fire TV users to bring the Fire TV across the pond for extended travel. The device was previously relegated to its country of origin.

The Fire TV game controller is available at Amazon.

Update 11/4/2014: This post has been updated to add new information after reaching out to Amazon for specifics.