Google is slashing off $20 from the original price of its Nexus Player, the first set-top box to showcase Google's Android TV platform.
Originally priced at $100, the Nexus Player sold on the Google Play Store is now $80. Admittedly, that is still $5 more expensive than the deal Amazon launched for the Android TV set-top box last month. Right now, the Nexus Player sold on Amazon by Asus, the device's manufacturer, is now only $73.32, but customers who feel more comfortable buying from Google itself still have a good $20 discount to avail of.
The deal doesn't include the official Gamepad that Google sells with the Nexus Player. Buyers who want to pick up the console-style controller, complete with pressure-sensitive triggers and thumbsticks, will be set back by $40, although even average home gamers will probably not want to use the Nexus Player as their primary gaming system because of its limited 8 GB storage space.
At $80, the Nexus Player is being offered at one of the best deals for a set-top box. Amazon's own Fire TV is priced at $99, and so is the Roku 3. Google's own Chromecast dongle, which has been very popular since it was released in 2013, is only $30, but the Nexus Player can do so much more than Chromecast.
For instance, the Nexus Player has support for more apps, including popular streaming content apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus and even the torrent streaming app Popcorn Time. Still, many users complain the Nexus Player does not support as many apps as its rivals, even though Google, being the king of Android apps, has more control over the app store more than anyone else. Apple, for instance, launched its own Apple TV with 100 media and content apps, while the Nexus Player started with 28 apps and counting.
Another major difference between the Nexus Player and Chromecast is the ability to use voice as a remote control. Chromecast links with a user's Android smartphone to navigate the interface, but the Nexus Player is equipped with a microphone that recognizes the user's voice. The days of never even having to push buttons on a TV remote are at its end, thanks to Google now enabling users to talk to their TV to switch channels instead.
Gaming is also a differentiator for the Nexus Player. Hard-core gamers will be turned off by the fact that the device only has 8 GB of built-in storage, which means they won't be able to load as many Android games as possible into their Nexus Player. Still, for the occasional gaming or to distract the kids for a while, this is a good entry-level media box worth the price.