One major hurdle for Android TV is the general lack of hardware options. While there are some, there is not a lot and the list got a little bit smaller recently with the confirmation that the Nexus Player has now been discontinued. However, back at Google I/O, Xiaomi did announce they were entering the Android TV ring with their upcoming offering, the Xiaomi Mi Box. This is a unit which comes equipped with 2GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor and a Mali 450 GPU. Like most of the other box options, this one will come with a dedicated remote control and a game pad will be available, although as a separate purchase. However, one of the most important details, the price, has yet to be announced.
When questioned during I/O, Xiaomi's Hugo Barra did reveal that the Mi box will not be priced at more than $200. While this was a highball figure, this did immediately draw price comparisons to the NVIDIA SHIELD. A comparison which instantly felt was too high for the Mi Box, as this is a unit which is unlikely to offer a comparable experience to the SHIELD. Therefore, pricing the Mi Box anywhere near the SHIELD would be highly disadvantageous to sales. Not to mention, that Xiaomi is generally considered to be a price-conscious company. So it would stand to reason that the Xiaomi Mi Box should be far more competitively priced than the max $200 figure suggested.
Some early indications are now starting to come through which do suggest the actual price of the Mi Box will be around the $100 marker. In fact, a listing for the Mi Box went live on the Chinese retailer site, AliExpress, this week and listing the price as only $89.99. Which would be far more in line with what would be expected for a device of this level and from this company. While the pricing on the AliExpress listing could be wrong, what adds to the likelihood of it being correct, is that since the initial price went live it quickly was changed to $499.99. It is obvious that the Mi Box will not be priced at $500 and it stands to reason that the price change occurred as a result of pricing details not being made public yet. Even more relevant is that the listing is an official Xiaomi Store listing on AliExpress and not a third-party seller listing.
While this does not act as any sort of confirmation of the price, it does go a long way to suggest the price will be around $100 depending on region. This does feel as though it is the right price for this product and will fill the void left by the recently retired Nexus Player. The image below is a cache image of the $89.99 price listing before the sudden change to the current $499.99 listing took place.