It wasn't just the Nexus 6 phone and Nexus 9 tablet that Google announced today. In addition to hardware that had been rumored for so long, we also got a little extra in the form of the Nexus Player. At its heart this is a media streaming device, but it also doubles as a games console. It is, in some ways, an extension of the Chromecast idea and it could be yours for $99.
The black, circular device is just 20mm tall and 120mm in diameter and can be connected to any HDTV via HDMI. If the price seems good, it gets better. The purchase includes $20 of Google Play credit ready to splash on apps, games, or movies. Out of the box, the focus is on media. The Nexus Player can stream content directly, but also supports casting from Chromebook, Mac, Windows, iOS and Android. Cross-platform viewing is practically encouraged. If you start watching a movie on your Nexus Player, you can switch to your Nexus 9 and pick up from where you left off.
The device features a 1.8GHz quad -core Intel Atom processor, 1GB RAM, and 8GB of storage space. As you would expect, the device will come pre-loaded with Android TV (see our Android TV review) and the supplied remote can be used to control video and music playback as well as to play games. If you take your gaming a little more seriously, there is a dedicated game controller available separately for $39.99 – Google points out that the remote is only suitable for causal gaming.
The remote has a little extra trick up its sleeve – voice activation. If the idea of scrolling through your media library seems too much like hard work, you can simply say the name of the movie or show you're looking for and the search will be performed for you.
You can pre-order the Nexus Player from 17 October, and shipping is due to begin 3 November.
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