Alongside announcements for the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 this morning (as well as confirmation that Android 5.0 will be Lollipop) was a revelation of a new device we hadn’t heard of. It’s called the Nexus Player, and it’s the first consumer-ready Android TV set-top box available with Google’s latest big screen platform. Android TV can be seen as a new platform, of sorts — it’s pretty much Google TV done right. As such, the idea of this set-top box isn’t new but the execution of it is fresh and exciting.
As you’d expect, its primary uses are streaming video, music and photos through apps and Casting, and Google’s also putting a pretty nice emphasis on games. It’s an ASUS made unit that looks to be built quite well at first glance. The internals aren’t anything to sneeze at by a set-top box’s standards, either.
The Nexus Player features a 1.8GHz quad-core Intel Atom chipset, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, HDMI-out at up to 1080p, microUSB 2.0, 802.11 ac WiFi with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 4.1 and more. It comes in at about 235g and its diameter is 120mm with depth of about 20mm. In other words, this thing certainly won’t be taking up much space on your home entertainment stand.
Other points of emphasis for Google are seamless transitions (so you can pause on the big screen and pick back up on your phone or tablet) and effortless search (pressing a microphone button and simply speaking your content into existence). It sounds like everything you’d expect from a Nexus device — nothing outrageous, but does what it’s intended to do very well.
The Nexus Player will be available starting November 3rd, though you can pre-order one starting October 17th (that’s this Friday if you haven’t been keeping up). No pricing information just yet, but we will be keeping you updated on everything we can dig up throughout the day!
[Update]: Looks like Google is targeting a $99 price tag for this thing, which is about par for the course for a set-top box these days. The $35 Chromecast might seem like a better option for folks who don’t need the extra oomph the Nexus Player provides, but this certainly deserves a look at $99.