The Vizio Co-Star Google TV might be the first Google TV box that’s worth buying. It now has access to the Google Play Store, which should include access to XBMC, support for OnLive gaming, and great specs for the low price of $99. Take all this into account and it’s not hard to imagine why the Vizio Co-Star sold out in just 12 hours from launch.
I can’t stress enough how important the $99 price tag is for set-top boxes or mini-consoles like the OUYA, which also uses ARM chips. It’s the sweet spot for pricing such a device, and I wish Google would’ve realized this from day one, instead of going crazy with a $300 price for the Logitech Revue set top box.
Yes, it was ultimately Logitech who priced that product, but Google had to dictate the specs to them and help them launch it, so there should’ve been a huge red flag over that pricing in the minds of Google’s execs. But apparently there wasn’t, which is why Google TV failed to take off initially.
Google TV has improved a lot since the initial launch, and now that companies like Vizio can use ARM chips and can easily price it at $99, Google TV might get back into the spotlight. The recently announced Google Fiber should help with Google’s TV efforts as well.
As for Vizio, they need to sell as many units as they can right now, while there’s still a lot of buzz around its Co-Star, update to the latest Google TV software as soon as possible, and make sure that the next-gen Co-Star has a cutting edge ARM chip in it. Moreover, they can further promote the Co-Star to gamers, and maybe turn into a full competitor for the OUYA and even traditional video game consoles .