SONY will sell Google TV in Europe from September, reports from France suggest.
A new set-top box and a Blu-ray player, both providing direct access to Google’s TV service, will be on sale in France later this year, Sony France marketing director Stephane Labrousse told Les Echos. A launch in France is likely to be accompanied by sales in Spain, Germany and the UK.
The new hardware will apparently also integrate Google’s Android Market, recently rebranded as Google Play, by including a dedicated button on the remote control. Access to Sony’s own Sony Entertainment Network will also be included.
Likely to retail for £200 (€240) and £300 respectively, the devices will be the first Google TV products to go on sale in Europe, although the service has been available in America since October 2010. Sony confirmed at Las Vegas electronics show CES that Google TV would be available in Europe in 2012.
Google TV runs on the company’s Android platform, also used for mobile phones, and provides access to movie streaming services such as Netflix and Lovefilm. Since its launch, however, other services such as Roku and a revamped Apple TV have also become available. Meanwhile, however, Google has upgraded its own sites, with the Android Market now offering film rentals and YouTube increasingly adopting a channel-based approach in a bid to sell more TV programmes and movies.
Sony, LG, Vizio and Samsung are all set to release a second generation of Google TV products later this year, with American critics suggesting that prices will need to reduce dramatically if the devices are likely to succeed in the mass market.