Earlier today Google announced the upcoming release of the Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 tablets – and the Nexus Player, a device that runs Android TV. The Nexus Player is obviously meant to go mano a mano with streaming media players like Apple TV, but this is particularly exciting news for the world of Android-based gaming.
Priced at $99 USD, the Nexus Player is a hockey puck-shaped piece that sits on top of your TV. Canadian users are advised to ignore any instinctual impulse to knock the device into a goalie’s net. The Nexus can stream content to and from other Android devices, including games.
The Nexus Player utilizes a 1.8 GHz quad-core Atom processor made by Intel, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. It comes with a remote, but its game controller is sold separately for $40. Games and apps can be downloaded from Google Play, and the Nexus Player comes with $20 in credit for the digital marketplace.
This could potentially be cool news for Android gaming. People were excited over OUYA‘s potential, but shoddy workmanship, delays, and a poor marketing campaign coupled with bad PR turned the little Android-based game console into a joke (though we still liked it). We expect none of those issues will crop up with the Nexus Player, which is backed by tons of corporate muscle, experience, and is being manufactured by Asus. Its $99 price point also makes it a competitive choice against OUYA and Apple TV.
Still, it’s a little disheartening to hear the controller is coming separate, and will require a pretty penny. Dedicated Android gamers probably won’t mind shelling out a bit of extra cash, but it might deter casual newcomers from really sinking into Android’s capabilities as a game platform.
The Nexus Player will be available for pre-order on October 17 at google.com/nexus.