If you thought that Google still wasn’t a hardware company, you need to rethink that assumption as today the company has introduced three new pieces of hardware; all of them of the Nexus variety. While the Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 may be produced by HTC and Motorola, respectively the Nexus Player seems to be built by Google themselves. As we saw during Google I/O earlier this year, Google and Android were getting ready to kick through the living room door in a big way, and the Nexus Player is the first, elegant silo to take over the space near your TV. Running Android TV, which is itself based around Android 5.0 Lollipop, this is Android redesigned for your TV, and Google isn’t messing around here.
Talking about hardware, Google has kept true to what makes the Nexus line so appealing; simplicity. There’s a small hockey puck sort of thing that outputs everything to your TV, along with a simple remote with just a handful of buttons as well as a voice control prompt and mic to go along with one of the more accomplished gaming controllers we’ve seen to go with a set-top box. It appears this simplicity runs deep as the 802.11ac (MIMO capable) is the only way to get online and HDMI is your only option for output, but then again for a ‘box’ of this sort of size we can’t expect the earth. The controller that Google is advertising on the Nexus website appears to be made by ASUS and doesn’t come in the box, instead your given the Player, some batteries for the remote and a power adapter.
Powered by a quad-core Intel Atom CPU clocked at 1.8 Ghz, with just HDMI Out and only WiFi connectivity, there doesn’t seem much to the hardware here, but Google will want to keep things simple after the failed attempts of both Google TV and Nexus Q which were arguably too complicated and overwrought for the average consumer to jump onboard with.
Just as we saw earlier this year during Google I/O, Google is bringing your favorite apps, games and content to the Nexus Player with Netflix, YouTube, Plex, Hulu Plus and a number of hit gaming titles all shown off in Google’s brief reveal of the Nexus Player this morning. The Nexus Player is ready for Google Cast, so you can treat this as you would a Chromecast and all of your Android content syncs throughout your devices. So, if you purchase something on your phone, you’ll be able to watch it on the big screen just as well. The Nexus Player will be available to pre-order from October 17th for an incredible $99.