Media

Google wisely delays Nexus Q consumer launch

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Tech giant Google is holding off on launching its expensive streaming media bowling ball, the Nexus Q, to the public, the company announced today.

Google first announced the streamer nearly a month ago at its Google I/O developer event. The $300 sphere-shaped Nexus Q lets users play media from their Android devices on TV sets and external speaker systems. It also lets users “socialize” by collaborating on music playlists and mirroring YouTube videos accessed on mobile devices. But beyond the Nexus Q’s cool TRON-like design, it doesn’t do nearly enough to justify the cost — as Google recently discovered.

“The industrial design and hardware were met with great enthusiasm. We also heard initial feedback from users that they want Nexus Q to do even more than it does today,” Google wrote in an e-mail to pre-order customers. “In response, we have decided to postpone the consumer launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better.”

Some of the things that irked us about the Nexus Q was that it required an Android device running Jelly Bean to work — meaning you can’t use the device on its own. The Nexus Q also didn’t provide support for third-party media services (Hulu Plus, Netflix, Spotify) and video games. To top it off, the $300 price is triple that of rival media streamers, including Apple TV, Roku 2 XS, and even a few Google TV-powered boxes (Logitech Revue, Vizio Co-Star). These are things that developers undoubtedly conveyed to Google.

Despite the delay, pre-order customers still have something to be happy about. Google is reimbursing any charges for the device for now. When the Nexus Q is ready for consumer launch, pre-order customers will get one sent to them for free.

In related news, anyone who endured ridicule from friends for wasting their money pre-ordering a feature-limited Nexus Q now has permission to gloat.

Via The Verge