Nexus Player Review – All You Need To Know

The Nexus Player is Official – $99 USD ($109 CAD)

Pre Order: Starts October 17th

Release Date: November 3rd

Where To Buy: According to Google, your only option to purchase the Nexus Player is via the official Google Play Store.

Official Specs:

  • 1.8 GHz Intel Atom quad-core processor
  • Imagination PowerVR Series 6 graphics
  • 802.11 ac WiFi 2×2 MIMO WiFi
  • HDMI output
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop OS
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB storage
  • voice activated remote
  • optional gamepad controller
  • microUSB 2.0 port
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • weight: 235g
  • size: 120mm x 120mm x 20mm
  • supports Google Cast software so it can be used like a Chromebox
  • controller price: $39 ($44.99 CAD)
  • size: 120mm x 120mm x 20mm

Mini Review and Preview: As expected Google needed to showcase their “new” version of Android TV with their own box. This Nexus box looks to be a decent option for anyone looking to get online with a smart TV or smart home setup. More than that, given the “player” in the name, this thing can game also. As Google says, you can sync achievements across other Android devices like tablets and smartphones. They are even marketing “free online multiplayer” which when you consider the giants Sony and Microsoft with their paid online gaming services, Google perhaps can get a foot in the door.


One omission that needs to be mentioned is ports or lack thereof. The photo above shows what you have on the Nexus Player. See what’s missing there? No ethernet port. From what I’ve been reading online people seem a bit miffed by this. If you consider that Google designs products with reasons behind everything, consider the lack of ethernet something which was decided on for good reason by Google brass. I think logically, moving forward with the latest standard “c”, most routers with the latest specs will not cause you fear. I do believe it’s a bit of fear based disappointment in that this box is only wifi. Dual band routers and much greater range of wifi means you can’t think of yesteryear. Sure, sketchy signals and dropped wifi happened but technology moves fast and Google knows that. A some point we need to update our all important wifi gear in our homes and as you rely more on the internet connection, you might as well get a nice dual band router at the very least. The Nexus Player is obviously very forward thinking in that it’s quite sparse on ports and expandability. No ethernet port? I think Google is trying to nudge you and me into something.

One other aspect of not having an ethernet port may in fact be related to gaming. Android gaming isn’t done via home networks. Any Android multiplayer gaming is done through mobile data networks or via wifi. I can’t say what factor this played into it, but if you’re on your mobile phone playing me on a wired internet connection, is the playing field level? It’s beyond my technical know-how, but perhaps it’s part of Google’s thinking. I’m just as curious as to the ethernet port omission just like most of you likely are.

Use Xbox 360 Controller or PS3 or PS4 Controller on Nexus Player: Here is what we’re ultimately hoping for. It would be nice, and would be a good selling point if in fact any of the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 or PS4 controllers can work on this new Nexus set top box. At this point, it’s unclear. Sure there is a gamepad accessory, but to be honest, both Sony and Microsoft have spent years and years on controller gamepad technology. Can a competitive gamepad be developed by Asus that is up to that standard? Hard to say. It’s safe to say that a lot of gamers with any of those other consoles would appreciate saving $34 and not having to buy the Nexus Player branded gamepad. We’re on the case and we will update with news regarding controller compatibility.


Official Photos – High Resolution Images – Click For Full Size

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Previous Updates:

Google is keeping their Nexus branding which counters many recent rumors. We are just learning new details from benchmark leaks that indicate a Google Asus Nexus Player Android box is coming this Fall 2014. I suspect it will be available for this years shopping season because it makes sense right? The fact is the rumors are churning out more rapidly regarding Google Nexus devices which appears to include at least one new smartphone, a new tablet and perhaps this Nexus Player set top box.

We don’t have a lot of details of the apparent Nexus Player box. We do know that Google is inspired to get into the TV space and have recently updated their efforts with a rebranding of the old Google TV project. Now it’s Android TV and it has a new interface which Google hopes that manufacturers will endorse and use on their products. The Google Nexus brand itself is a way for the company to show others how its supposed to be done. Google is using the Nexus brand product launched to show off the brand new Android OS updates. This year, Android “L” is going to be one of, if not the biggest ever updates to the OS. Along with that, Google will show off their new Nexus brand hardware with the new spiffy Android OS.

We are expecting terrific leaks in the coming weeks about the Nexus Player. Release date? Perhaps October. An unveil will likely happen in early October. So don’t worry, there will be lots of time to decide before you do your shopping if the Nexus Player is right for you.

Nexus Player Specs (not verified)

  • 1.8 GHz Intel Quad-core processor
  • PowerVR G6430 graphics
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 6GB of storage
  • WiFi
  • Android L

Typical Android tv box specs also include a lot of ports for connectivity. I expect the Nexus Player to be no different.

Will this really be named the “Nexus Player”? I would say yes. Initially I wondered how this branding makes sense, but in fact it does. No question Google wants in the Android gaming space. So just from a gaming perspective, “Player” makes sense. The word player also makes sense in the fact that it’s what this Android box is designed to do. Play things. Stream things. I would have expected something simple like just Nexus TV, but perhaps Google’s quest for the gaming market has pushed them more towards this branding. It’s exciting when it’s not yet official so let’s see at the end of the day how Google brands their android tv set top box in the coming weeks.

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