Sony is looking to get back into the Google TV market.
You may recall that the last time it went all out with support for Google’s television-based operating system, it sort of crashed and burned.
Sony’s line of Google TV-powered “Internet TV” models were so much more expensive than other Internet-connected TVs that they captured monumentally low sales levels.
On top of the increased price, Google TV was a nascent, under-utilized platform. In fact, to any sensible person, buying an Internet-connected TV from pretty much any other manufacturer made more sense because they were cheaper and offered more content.
Now, though, Google TV has matured a bit, and Sony is willing to give it a second chance. This time, though, it’s playing it safe and going for a high-margin, low-cost set-top box device.
The Sony NSZ-GS7 has just gone up for pre-order at J&R Electronics stores, with a price of $199.
The box will allow users to gain access to TV-based Web browsing, apps like Netflix and Youtube (but not yet Hulu Plus), and a bunch of Android apps designed specifically for the TV interface.
The other interesting part is the remote control that comes with the new box – it has an accelerometer, a touch pad, and a microphone, which is interesting since many of the Google TV apps don’t support things like voice control or motion-based controls.
So Sony had to make those things come to life, by allowing for speech-based searches and accelerometer controls for navigation through menus and other content. There’s no launch date for the US yet, but it should be coming out soon.