This is the moment we were waiting for. Sony has officially announced the worldwide release of the NSZ-GS7, with US and UK getting it first in early July. It was also announced that it will be released in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico later in the year. If you head over to Sony’s website, they already have it up for pre-order at the “Sony Price” of $199.99 with a shipping date of August 13, 2012 for Canadians. They will also be releasing a version with blu-ray right in time for the holidays.
This set top box will be one of the first using Google TV 2.0, built on top of Android Honeycomb 3.1. It will come with one HDMI-in port for your cable provider’s set top box, and one HDMI-out that will go to your TV/receiver. It will also come with an IR blaster, to control your other devices at home, and two USB ports for additional storage options.
One of the treats of Sony’s new Google TV is the remote, which looks strickingly similar to a smartphone. Originally showcased at CES 2012, one side has your standard android buttons (back, menu, home, and what looks to me, like Sony’s “Small Apps” button) as well as arrow keys and a touch sensitive screen. There are also additional buttons for controlling your TV.
Flipping it over, you are greeted with a full QWERTY keyboard with backlighting, so you don’t have to turn the lights on in your living room to search. The volume, channel and mute buttons are found along the edge, which is a nice touch. If you are keen on gaming, the remote also comes with a 3-axis accelerometer built in that will allow you to play games that require motion (assuming developers take advantage of it).
However, if you’re not a fan of the remote, there will be a phone and tablet app that will be available for download that will do the same thing.
There is still no word yet on if any of Canada’s Cable providers are on board, although that could be important as it was a major selling point for the platform in the US.