UPDATE: 10/18/2014 It looks like there was some issues with the FCC application. Pre-orders have been halted on the Nexus Player while they sort it out. We haven’t heard whether the pre-orders that made it through will be cancelled or whether they’ll just be on-hold. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything. Thanks to BeginnersTech for the scoop!
The Google Nexus Player is available on the Google Play Store starting October 17th. The initial price will be $99 US. No news as of the time of this article whether the Nexus Player will be available outside of the US.
I’m really interested in seeing a Google Nexus Player in person. I love the voice search of the Amazon FireTV, so I’m excited to see Google’s implementation of that. It should only benefit from the ton of resources into their “OK Google” marketing campaign.
I’m concerned that there are very limited apps at launch for it. The Chromecast took a long time to build up speed because there wasn’t any “killer apps” for it. I feel that the sales figures only hit as high as they did because of the low cost. I have one, but I can honestly say it gets considerably less usage than the FireTV, the Neo X8 or my Xbox 360.
Cnet has made a big deal about the lack of memory (8GB) and the lack of a USB port. I don’t see these as deal-breakers so far.
The memory is about on par with most other Android mini PC’s on the market. Many will offer 16GB, but 8GB is still plenty for most people. Plus, I’ve seen what they can do with the Chrome OS with 16GB of storage, so I’m not at all concerned.
As far as the USB port, some news sites are saying it’s a USB 2.0 full-size, some are saying micro. Either way, if you’re not hooking up a keyboard\mouse (and you won’t be), then USB ports are pretty overrated. Google is a cloud company, so expect some sort of integration with Google Drive.
The interface looks very slick. It looks like the evolution of the Xbox\Apple TV interface. The Amazon and Roku interfaces are vertical scrolling, and a bit awkward, IMO. The scrolling of the Android TV looks much more natural to me. But, I’ll hold judgement on that until I get to actually play with it.
All in all, I’ll be ordering a Google Nexus Player as soon as it becomes available. At least partly out of genuine excitement, not just because I’ll be reviewing it. Choosing a Smart TV box always depends on what ecosystem you’re part of. I’m big into the Google ecosystem, so this is a natural progression for me.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available, and a full review as soon as we get our hands on one.