New references in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) are now being interpreted as a new version of the Nexus Player is on the horizon. It is worth noting that this is a very light suggestion at the moment as there is no definitive reference of a next-generation Nexus Player. Instead, there are a couple of references which when taken together suggest the possibility is there.
Specifically, XDA-Developers have picked up on a new AOSP commit relating to the ‘enabling of R8 by default.’ While that in itself is not so relevant, the commit also notes how this enabling has been tested on a device codenamed “elfin” - in addition to “taimen” (the Google Pixel 2 XL). Once again, if taking on its own then the elfin reference is not that important beyond the fact that elfin is currently an unknown device codename. However, XDA has also found another reference for elfin in AOSP dating back to Feb. 28, and this one is slightly more relevant as it specifically states “looks like this is not the case in fugu/elfin.”
This is important as “fugu” is the codename associated with the original Nexus Player. Therefore, as XDA highlight, the fact this second “WifiConfigManager” commit is proving problematic for fugu and elfin - and presumably only those devices at the moment - would suggest the two devices are more alike than different - for example, are both Android TV devices. Again, this does not automatically equate to a confirmation, but it is a noteworthy observation. Likewise, is the comment in the first commit which reads “second attempt for Q” as this implies the R8 feature is being tested on devices running Android Q: the Android version expected to arrive in 2019 following this year’s release of Android P. Whether that means a new Nexus Player is likely to arrive in 2019 is less clear, though that would be a fair assumption to make if elfin is indeed an Android TV-based device. What is more likely, however, if there is a new Google-related Android TV device planned for next year it won’t arrive with the Nexus Player branding attached. Due to Google’s discontinuation of the Nexus program in favor of its own ‘Made by Google’ branding.