Google calls time on Nexus Player
James R | On 26, May 2016
Google has officially called time on its Nexus Player.
The streaming media device was first launched back in 2014 by Google and Asus. It joined Chromecast as one of Google’s competitors with devices such as Apple TV, Roku’s sticks and boxes and Amazon’s Fire TV. Unlike Chromecast, though, it was also intended as a flagship product to introduce Android TV to the wider world.
Nexus Player came with its own remote and allowed users to play advanced games on their HD TV, as well as watch TV shows and films through apps such as YouTube and Netflix. Users could also search for titles using Google’s voice search function, which returned results for TV shows, games and films through Google Play stores.
All that increased functionality required more power than Chromecast’s tiny stick: inside its circular case, the Nexus Player boasted a 1.8GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.
Despite those specs, though, it failed to find much of a following in the UK, when it was finally released in March 2015. Chromecast’s stripped-down functionality, on the other hand, caught consumers’ imaginations. It now makes up 22 per cent of streaming media device sales in the US, according to Parks Associates, joint second with Fire TV and behind Roku on 30 per cent.
Nonetheless, Google is not about to shut down its Android TV operating system, designed to rival that of Roku. While Roku is releasing its own Smart TVs, Android TV OS is preloaded on Sony and Sharp TV models for 2016, and Nvidia’s Shield also supports it.
“Android TV continues to be a living room favorite as one of the best smart TV experiences,” Google’s spokesperson told The Verge. “We are pleased with the success and have seen millions of activations so far.”
Techcrunch also notes that French ISPs, such as Free and Bouygues Telecom, are handing out Android TV boxes to their customers.
Google, though, has stopped selling Nexus Player – and any other stock you see in third party retailers will be the last ones on the shelves.