Google is really pulling out all the stops at its developer conference this year. The company is expected to show off a ton of new software, a few smartwatches, and now, according to a Wall Street Journal report, an Android TV set-top box.
Google will reportedly show off at least one set-top box during I/O. The new set-top box will be small just like Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV, but it will run on a new operating system that Google is supposedly calling Android TV.
Users will be able to stream movies, TV shows, video games, and other content from their Android smartphones and tablets to the set-top box and from there, to their big screen TV. It is unclear whether Google will design the set-top box itself like it did with the Nexus smartphone and tablet line.
Android TV will supposedly focus on games, which are the most popular apps for mobile device users. According to people familiar with Google’s plans, gamers will be able to start playing on their big screen TVs and then resume play on their Android tablet or smartphone when they’re away from home. Split-screen mode and multiplayer games will also work with Google’s new set-top box.
Of course, Google will have to entice developers to design apps and games for Android TV. Google’s earlier attempts at making set-top box TVs ended in failure, but its Chromecast streaming dongle has achieved great success. Even with all that experience behind it, entering the already crowded TV space could prove challenging for Google. However, if the Android TV focuses on creating an incredible gaming experience for users, it could fill a niche in the TV market that hasn’t been tapped just yet.
Regardless, we’ll find out soon enough when Google I/O kicks off later today. In the meantime, check out our I/O rumor roundup.