According to a report by Amir Efrati at The Information, Google is working on a set-top box called the Nexus TV to rival the Apple TV, Xbox One and Amazon’s rumored FireTube. That meshes with earlier reports from the Wall Street Journal and GigaOM, which point to a resurrection of Google’s efforts to take a shot at the TV market.
In addition to serving as a standard set-top box with media playback and the like, Nexus TV will also reportedly boast a video camera for Google Hangouts, which would be a clear competitor to the Skype functionality in the Xbox One, and something that Apple doesn’t currently offer in the Apple TV.
It seems logical that Google would want to create such a device in order to enhance the clout of Google Play, the company’s competitor to Apple’s iTunes Store, and Amazon’s on demand offerings like Amazon Music and Amazon Video. Because Google Play integrates well with Android, the company can leverage the operating system’s massive market share to try and draw in potential buyers.
Still, it’s not clear how successful such a device would be. Google already took one shot at the set-top market with its Nexus Q, an odd device that was almost universally panned and never officially went on sale. The Chromecast seems to be having some success, but it also costs significantly less than anything else on the market.