Looking to improve their efforts in the smart TV set-top box industry, Sony have announced the arrival of a new version of their Google TV-based device, although it is believed by some to be a last stand from the Japanese company as they lose interest in the medium.
Mainly relatively unchanged from the Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV product released last year, the new NSZ-GS8 does include a number of enhancements to its predecessor, headlined by the addition of a microphone to its already-‘unique’ remote control, now offering the ability for users to voice search.
The announcement is also the first release of a Sony smart TV product since early 2012, with the GP9 Blu-ray Player (displayed alongside the GS7 at the CES 2012 show in Las Vegas (USA)) never realized.
Using an official blog post to announce the plans, Sony have also revealed that as in the previous version, the ‘Google Chrome browser’ will be present in the new product, alongside Google Play Store access and simple content sharing to and from mobile devices.
Through writer Ray Hartjen, Sony write of the new device: “Today, Sony is announcing its latest Google TV offering with the NSZ-GS8 Internet Player with Google TV. This uber-cool gizmo plugs easily into your TV – any TV with an HDMI connection – and allows you to search live TV, the internet and apps. Oh, and you can do it old-school by typing or new-school with voice search – your choice!”
The post continues with an explanation of just how ‘smart’ Sony’s new set is, reading: “You might wonder, why should I go with the Sony Google TV player instead of any of the so-called ‘smart TVs’ out there? Don’t fool yourself – your smart TV probably isn’t as smart as you think. Sure, it’s smarter than the TVs of yesteryear, like that’s saying much, and they’ll connect Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and others through apps. But, c’mon, that’s like kindergarten smart… With the power of Google Chrome behind every search, your TV experience will never be the same. Google TV – now, that’s smart! I’m not talking kindergarten smarts here, but rather full on Ph.D. from an Ivy League institution smart. Not that I know what that kind of smart is; I’m sort of assuming that’s really, really, really smart.”
Set to be released in July, the price of that really really really smartness will be an estimated $199 (£127, AU$209), but has Sony’s promotional campaign so far been smart enough to convince you to buy a NSZ-GS8 Google TV, or is trying to speak to readers through an open blog post just not smart?