Sony this week announced the impending availability of its new Google TV set top box, previously shown at CES in January. The new box will be available in retail outlets on July 22 for $199. It features a low profile design (which, frustratingly, cannot be stacked) with passthrough HDMI for your cable or satellite receiver. Sony’s abandoned it’s game-controller-inspired remote for a much-improved universal remote control with buttons and a touchpad on one side and a QWERTY keyboard on the flip.
In addition to the new standalone box, Sony is also updating its Blu-ray player with Google TV, though this will not be available until the holiday shopping season. It will retail for $299—the same price as Sony’s first Blu-ray with Google TV.
While it’s good to see new standalone set top box options for Google TV, what’s curious is this: What does Sony know that Logitech didn’t? Logitech abandoned Google TV, liquidating its remaining Revue units in a $99 fire sale. Today, that box offers the same experience that Sony’s devices do, and it continues to receive updates as Google improves the TV OS. And with Apple TV and Roku available for $99 and less, does this thing really have a chance?
What are your thoughts? Do you plan to buy Sony’s Google TV set top box? And if so, why?