Nexus Q – the experience
It’s becoming clear that Google TV is on the slow march to irrelevancy. The content that users want is hard to come by and the hardware delivering it hasn’t resonated with consumers. The latter may change with the introduction of new sets from Sony & VIZIO, but the content problem on Google TV is still a challenge.
But you know what’s strange? Google TV is still a heck of a lot more convincing on the content front than the Nexus Q. The Q is capable of streaming music, movies, and television, but only through Google’s services. You can dance the night away to Google Music or nestle up on the couch with Play Movies & TV, but don’t dream of playing Pandora, Rhapsody, or Netflix. Google has said it encourages hackability, so I’m sure someone will find a way to introduce other apps onto the device; however, that will require extra work and hopes for buyers. Even the Logitech Revue that I’ve complained about for nearly two years is already more powerful than the Q.
The Nexus Q is essentially just a gateway to access Google’s entertainment options. At $299, you’ll pay a heavy toll for that access, so the question I struggled to answer from the moment the Q was introduced on stage is why on Earth anyone would want to buy this? For the same price, you can get an Xbox 360 or PS3 that has console games and far more entertainment options. For a third of the Nexus Q cost, you could buy a VIZIO Co-Star and get the same Google Play content, apps, and access to the web through Google Chrome. Even if you don’t want to invest another dime in Google TV, you could opt for a Roku box and still have more options.