NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Google (GOOG) has been trying to get a foothold in the growing streaming TV business for a number of years. Early attempts at challenging Apple (AAPL) TV, Roku and other similar offerings failed miserably, but last year's introduction of the wildly successful Chromecast finally opened the door. The the new $99 Nexus Player is Google's best attempt to try and take market share away from Apple, Roku, Amazon (AMZN) and others in the streaming media space.
In addition to being able to stream TV, movies and music, the Asus-manufactured Nexus Player is also a gaming console, with dozens of titles already available from the Google's store. To get the most out of those games, you'll probably need to buy the $40 Gamepad.
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As for the actual device, don't think of bringing an unboxed Nexus Player to an ice rink, as it looks a lot like a hockey puck. The Nexus Player is small, round, black and flat. It's 4.72 inches round by less than an inch thick and weighs slightly more than 8 ounces.
Powering the puck is a sophisticated 1.8 GHz, quad-core Intel (INTC) Atom processor tied to a 2D/3D Power VR Series 6 graphics system from Britain's Imagination Technologies. There's 1GB of RAM and only 8GB of storage, which could limit the ultimate number of games you can keep in your device. Internet connections are handled only via Wi-fi (802.11ac) because there's no Ethernet port. 1080p video and digital audio output is via HDMI although there's no HDMI cable in the box.