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Android TV launch at I/O all but confirmed, with gaming as big focus

According to several sources, Google is going to unveil Android TV on stage at I/O today, and at least one partner will introduce an Android TV set-top box.
By
June 25, 2014
Android TV
Image courtesy of The Verge

According to several sources, Google is going to unveil Android TV on stage at I/O today, and at least one partner will introduce an Android TV set-top box.

Android TV first leaked in April, as an implementation of Android designed with big screens in mind. While the Google I/O session schedule doesn’t show a focus on TV development, it looks like Android TV will be one of the highlights of today’s keynote after all.

The WSJ and CNET are reporting independently that Google will introduce an Android TV set-top box from an unknown manufacturing partner. According to the WSJ, the set-top box will carry the partner’s brand, but the report doesn’t rule out the possibility of a Google-branded line of Android TV devices, similar to the Nexus series. Google declined to comment on the story.

According to CNET, the Android TV set-top box that will launch today will be powered by an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, but models running on Intel chips are in the pipeline as well.

As expected, gaming will be a central focus of Android TV devices. Users will be able to use their Android devices as controllers for the TV version of the game. Game developers will be able to make use of cloud saves, allowing players to start a game on their smartphones and continue from where they left off when they get home to their Android TVs.

Google has worked with big game developers to have a stable of titles available at launch. Thanks to a premature update to the popular Riptide GP2 game, we know that Android TV-compatible games will be available from today, as the screenshot below suggest:

android tv riptide

Besides gaming, Android TV will offer a full media experience, with access to major music and movie services, like Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, and, of course, Google’s own Play suite.

Stay tuned for more Android TV coverage throughout the day and for news on all things Google I/O, including Android 5, Android Wear, and more!