Nexus Player ($99)
More: Nexus Player Announcement | Specs | Forums
Android TV is upon us. And gaming. And more Chromecast. Android Player is a $99 box — OK, it's a circle — that does what we've been doing for a year now with a $35 Chromecast, and then some. You can stream all the things its way, from Android devices as well as Chrome browsers, all in the Nexus Player, manufacturered by ASUS.
If controlling things with your phone or tablet isn't your bag, however, Nexus Player is your one-stop shop. It's got a small remote control that'll guide you through the Android TV experience — which as we saw in a preview has be designed especially for the living room "lean back" experience. Most of the major players are on board — Netflix, PBS, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, to name but a few. (It's not surprising that Amazon's still not a part, given that it's got its own Fire TV system, but still ...)
You'll also be able to get your gaming on thanks to an optional gaming controller.
An interesting thing here is that this Nexus Player is powered by an Intel Atom processor (and 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage) and not something beefier, especially since we saw Tegra components being demoed at Google I/O earlier this year. Will Atom be enough? How long until we see a hardware refresh? (And we hate even asking that question out loud on the same day the Nexus Player is announced, but it needs to be asked.) Again, we'll just have to see.
There's a lot we know. Or, rather, there's a lot we know is coming. Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Nexus 6 from Motorola. The Nexus 9 from HTC. And the ASUS-made Nexus Player. We've got a number of questions, however, and answers should become clear in the coming weeks, as devices are made available and software updates begin to drop.
And just like Google and the Android 5.0 era, we're just getting warmed up, too. Lots more to come, folks.