We gotta give it to Sony for believing in Android TV, even though it’s succeeding Google TV, one of the biggest fails in the smart TV industry. With Android TV, Google re-defines its approach and puts Android in a path to success, though.
Sony is still in bed with Google, and this time they are not just having a good affair. Sony has announced that their whole 2015 HD and 4K smart TV line-up will come with Android TV. Now that is commitment, especially for a TV manufacturing giant like Sony.
Considering all the facts, we know Sony must really have a good strategy in mind. We went out on a search for some answers and got some interesting details from our anonymous Sony insiders. Of course, information is still limited, but at least we get a peek into what is ahead of us.
When are Sony Android TVs coming?
For starters, our sources state Sony is getting all ready to start taking these Android TV devices to market. With testing currently underway, mass production is set to start in January, with release dates starting in late February (for the first models, others may come later).
What kind of features will Sony Android TVs offer?
As expected, Google has put Android front and center. Android TV has Google’s services completely integrated, simply treating the TV as yet another screen size. You will find the Google Play Store, Play Music and Movies apps, all with direct access and shortcuts. Even the live TV portion is managed as an app. And there are full Google Cast capabilities included.
This is all news we were assuming, though. What else is interesting? Well, we have found out these TV’s will have direct access to both PS4 Remote Play and PlayStation Now (Sony’s cloud gaming service). The latter will actually be linked to Google Games, which is a pretty novel idea.
In terms of peripherals, you will find your regular remote, which will have a microphone for voice actions. In addition, remotes will have an NFC chip that you can use to pair your device with the Android TV and… get this… transfer files directly.
It gets even more fun as we find out these TV’s will have direct support for PlayStation controllers, via bluetooth. No need to buy Google’s gamepad.
And of course, our source also states the TV will have “everything else you can expect from Sony’s smart TV’s”. This means we are not talking about pure Android TV here, but we could assume that.
While the affordable $99 price point on the Nexus Player may prove Android TV can be had for a cheap price, not all Android TVs will be priced accessibly. These Sony TV’s won’t exactly come cheap, but there will be a good variety of models for everyone.
Our sources from the Japanese manufacturer state Sony Android TVs will start at about $700. That would be for a 43-inch smart TV. Want a little more bang? These TV’s are said to range upwards to $4,000 models.
I mean, the prices are high, but not horrible. A 43-inch Sony TV should already cost about $700, anyways. Maybe a little less, but this is not a completely unreasonable amount of cash to ask for. Especially for a TV with so many features and capabilities.