Google’s Nexus Q media streaming device, while perhaps not the highlight of the Google I/O conference, is still quite an interesting piece of hardware. It is a bit pricey at $300, but since my Nexus 7 doesn’t have HDMI out, I’ve been considering purchasing a Q to use as a media center for playing Netflix, music, and movies through my TV. However, it looks like I won’t be buying one for a little while longer at least, as the Nexus Q is currently unavailable though the Google Play Store, and the product page has been replaced with a “notify me” sign up page.
Google explained the disappearance in a letter sent to those who preordered the Q. According to the letter, Google has “heard initial feedback from users that they want Nexus Q to do even more than it does today. In response, we have decided to postpone the consumer launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better.” To appease those who had preordered with a delivery time of a couple weeks, Google decided to “extend the Nexus Q preview to our pre-order customers and send you a free device.” The way the letter is worded suggests that the preview device is of the same batch handed out at Google I/O, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is really just the first shipment of original Qs.
While it is certainly quite cool that those who preordered the Q (which I now wish I had done) will be getting a free device, what is even more interesting is the fact that Google has already decided to take the Q back to the drawing board. I doubt we will see any hardware changes, but it is completely possible that the software will be overhauled to do more, and perhaps even make it a more full featured standalone set-top box. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Google tries to reduce the price, because a $300 up front cost is quite hard to swallow for a niche device like the Q. Whatever changes Google decides to make, we likely won’t see them until the Q is up for sale again. However, I’ll be watching and waiting for that day, because even if a price drop is the only change, I get the feeling that I’ll probably end up buying one.[Android Police]