Powered by Android TV and running the newest 5.1 Lollipop iteration of Google’s mobile OS, Google Cast-ready and offering full access to Netflix and Hulu Plus, as well as basic game-streaming capabilities, the Nexus Player is certainly richer in features than its [easyazon-link asin=”B00DR0PDNE” locale=”us”]Chromecast “cousin”[/easyazon-link] or [easyazon-link asin=”B00GDQ0RMG” locale=”us”]Amazon’s Fire TV Stick[/easyazon-link].
It’s probably also better than [easyazon-link asin=”B00PWDZQP4″ locale=”us”]the latest-generation Apple TV[/easyazon-link], though some might call that, no pun intended, an apple and orange comparison. But the search giant and Asus co-developed digital media player is one of the priciest devices in its class too, typically costing $100.
Of course, Amazon has been trying to raise the profile and mainstream appeal of the Nexus set-top box for a while, [easyazon-link asin=”B00S8U5A7W” locale=”us”]trimming the list tag down to around $73[/easyazon-link]. Now, Google follows the e-tailer’s suit at last, shaving 20 bucks off its starting ask.
The new $80 tariff isn’t as tempting as Amazon’s deals, but if it holds up, it could suggest a follow-up is in the pipeline already. Remember, the I/O developer-focused conference is right around the corner, and both Nexus 5 and 6’s smartphone upgrades are tipped to stay on the sidelines until later in the year.
Larry Page & co. therefore need something to showcase on the hardware front, and a smartwatch or two, plus an improved Nexus Player fit the profile and timing. Especially given an Android TV-based Nvidia Shield will likely roll out by Sunday.