It’s official, Google TV in its current form has failed. It’s time to clear out the inventory and make room for products that sell. Confronted with poor sales, Logitech announced yesterday that they will be dropping the price of the Logitech Revue to $99. Originally, the device debuted at $299 and the Hub thought it priced itself out of the market. The price has not been adjusted yet on Amazon or Logitech’s site (we’ll update you when it happens). It will be interesting to see if Sony follows suit (Sony has a Blu-ray Google TV as well as a TV embedded with it).
The Hub doesn’t think the price cut will help the sales of the Revue. From the start, it’s been plagued by its complex set up (only 12 steps required) and interface. The promised app store has not materialized yet. They even packaged a full-sized keyboard with it. It will cost you extra to get the nifty mini-keyboard controller which should have been included instead. Someone must have thought we were going to write code as we watched TV.
The competition in this price point includes Apple TV and the new Roku 2. Both are easier to use and set up. The new Roku can play games. Apple TV can also stream media from iTunes enabled machines on your network. Google TV in its current form will never be a mass-market device. The geek niche would chose Boxee over Google TV even at its higher price. To get some market penetration, Google needs to find a way to give these boxes away like everything else they do.
On the positive side, it’s one of the few boxes that will let you run HBO Go on your TV. An actual app version of HBO GO is supposed to come to Google TV first. Its Netflix client sports the nice HTML5 interface and it also supports Dolby Digital and closed captions. Also, Google did announce that the platform is getting an update later this year. You could take a chance and assume the upgrade will be supported on the Revue. On the other hand, why not just go with an Apple TV, Roku or Boxee?
Update: The price has dropped to $99 at Amazon.