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    Android TV and why it is not intended for gamers

    During the latest Google I/O 2014 event, the search giant and Android maintainer introduced its new platform, Android TV. Compatible with setupboxes, TVs and consoles developed by third parties, the initiative marks Google's official entry into TVs. However, Android TV is far from replacing a video game, far away!

    – Following the trend and dictating the rules

    The launch of Android TV is nothing groundbreaking. In April, Amazon had announced the Fire TV, a setupbox with Android and gamepad, which will be born with 96 compatible games. Not to mention the thousands of Chinese USB sticks that already had Android and allowed, at least a year ago, to turn your regular TV into an Android TV.

    “So why did Google release Android TV if it's not groundbreaking at all?” The answer is simple. Being the owner of Android technology, it didn't make sense for Google to omit itself from the equation. Before the manufacturers tried to destroy the idea with bloatware (as they almost did with Android on smartphones), Google decided to act and announce a special version of Android for large screens.

    Even Sony is betting on “mini-video games”.

    Google's entry into the television business is perfectly predictable. In the field of mobility, Android already dominates both markets (smartphones and tablets), so it doesn't make sense to just wait for next versions of the system with amazing features, it won't be something visible in the short term. What was seen at the Google I/O 2014 event was precisely the concept of Android in “other things”: Android Wear, Android Car and, of course, Android TV.

    This setupbox trend is a new market that virtually every tech giant is targeting in the near future. Apple, the pioneer in the field, treated the Apple TV as a hobby until very recently. Most likely you the next Apple TV with a gamepad joystick. Even Sony, which owns the Playstation, has entered the fray for these low-cost devices with the PS Vita TV.

    But a lot of people are turning up their noses before they even see the devices. Especially those who already own a video game console of this generation or the last generation. Before you raise your hand and say that there's already something better than Android TV I'll tell you: "it wasn't made for you!".

    These Android-powered consoles and setupboxes weren't designed to fight video game consoles. The target audience is also not the Geeks on duty. So, who are these consoles with Android suitable for?

    – The kids’ new first “video game”

    These days, a boy or girl's first video game isn't a Nintendo Wii U, let alone an Xbox or PS3. Nowadays, children's first contact with electronic games is through their parents' smartphones. Today's kids know more about Angry Birds than Mario. Not to mention that there is a lode of “free games” (Free to Play) totally focused on children.

    Never understood the success of games like Clash of Clans, Minions Rush and Candy Crush Saga? No problem, they weren't made for gamers who own high-end consoles. They were made for kids who don't have the money to buy a game right now, but want to have fun.

    Connected to a power source, consoles with Android TV can display better graphics than smartphones, due to the “unlimited” source of power.

    In the United States, the average gamer audience, owner of consoles, is in the absence of 35 years. The idea behind these setupboxes is to target the “non-gamer” audience or, ultimately, the child of the average American gamer.

    Let's face it, a console with Android has price, style and games totally aimed at children. If the platform works, Android TV will not affect the consumption of state-of-the-art video games at all. It might affect the Wii U a little bit, but I doubt it.

    The price that consoles with Android TV must follow should be the same as that of Fire TV, Ouya and the like. Something around $100 dollars. Which makes the idea of ​​Android TV a perfectly acceptable gift for children, even in Spain (even if here, the devices cost R$ 400 reais).

    – Distribution and potential of “Playstation 2,5” in Spain

    Obviously, what will decide the success or failure of Android TV will be its distribution. Take the case of Ouya, for example. What good is a good idea if it has serious problems reaching the markets that really matter for “cheap” ideas, the emerging markets.

    If Google decides to launch Android TV in Spain, as it is doing with Chromecast, offering consoles/setupboxes at a nice price, something around 300 to 400 reais, we could witness the birth of something interesting. Android TV has the potential to supply a market that was dreamed of by Tectoy (with Zeebo) and other manufacturers around 2008. Not to mention that it will be a low-cost console that already comes with games like GTA San Andreas.

    Will Android TV survive?



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