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Google Announces Nexus Player Media/Gaming Android Console

by Matt Helgeson on Oct 15, 2014 at 03:30 PM

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Google is set to release its own version of Amazon's Fire TV - a set-top media and gaming box that has the ability to use an optional controller.

The Nexus Player is an Android device and – unlike Google's successful Chromecast – can run Android apps and games from the Play store. If you want to get serious about gaming with the device, you'll need to shell out $39 for an Xbox-style controller. The unit itself will retail for $99, and boasts some solid specs, including a 1.8Ghz quad-core intel processor with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. Google says the unit can deliver impressive graphics with a new 64-bit Imagination PowerVR graphics chip and stream media at 1080p.

In addition to the Android gaming functions of the Nexus Player, it will also run media apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus.

The Nexus Player will be released on November 3, and Google will begin taking pre-orders on October 17.

[Source: Engadget]

Our Take:
It's a nice-looking unit, and obviously Google has a lot of resources to devote to the Nexus Player, but - as I did with the Fire TV – I question the device's viability as a gaming device for one reason: If you want it to be perceived as a gaming device and used as a gaming device, include a controller with the system standard. Until the Nexus Player and Fire TV do that, I don't see these systems as serious contenders in the gaming market.