Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is postponing the launch of its new Nexus Q media player in order to add more features and functions, the Internet giant said Tuesday in an email to customers who had pre-ordered the gadget.
The Nexus Q is Google’s first self-designed and marketed consumer electronics device. Unveiled alongside the better-reviewed Nexus 7 tablet at Google’s I/O event in June, the orb-shaped media player was criticized for its lack of usability and features.
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So instead of launching the Nexus Q this month as planned, Google will release a free “preview version” to customers who pre-ordered the device while it tweaks the software.
The Nexus Q, a cross between a streaming video box and an audio amplifier, is Google’s first end-to-end hardware undertaking, and reflects the company’s broader push into the hardware arena dominated by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung. Apart from the Nexus 7 tablet, which hasn’t yet gone on sale, Google is also developing augmented-reality eyeglasses.
Google’s decision to pull the device so close to its launch date is likely in response to underwhelming pre-orders and negative reviews. It will be competing with the more established Apple TV, which has been many years in development and has undergone numerous updates that give it an edge on competitors. On Tuesday, for instance, Apple launched Hulu Plus as a built-in app on Apple TV.
In the streaming video box arena, Google will also be competing with game consoles like Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox 360, which integrate services like Hulu (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). While the audio amplifier aspect of Google’s device may be a new twist, it’ll likely take more than that help it create a space for itself in an increasingly crowded market.