The first Sony televisions with Android TV on board could start shipping in late February with some major perks for gamers.
Sony has already pledged to use Android TV in its entire HD and 4K smart TV lineup, and unnamed sources tell MobileGeeks that mass production could begin in January. Prices will reportedly start at around $700 for a 43-inch television, and range up to $4,000 for high-end 4K sets.
That may be on the pricey side, but Sony may compensate with some killer PlayStation features. According to MobileGeeks, Sony’s TVs will include Remote Play, letting users access their PlayStation 4 library over Wi-Fi from anywhere in the house, and will connect with existing PlayStation 4 controllers over Bluetooth. The TVs may also run Sony’s Playstation Now service, which streams PlayStation 3 titles and older games over the Internet. MobileGeeks says this service will be “linked to Google Games,” though it’s unclear what this means.
While the gaming angle would be unique for Sony, the rest of the interface will reportedly be built entirely around Android TV, including live television from cable and satellite providers. As we learned at Google IO, live TV will be treated like any other app, and can even integrate with the recommendations bar at the top of the screen. For instance, users could see a recommendation when one of their favorite shows is on.
Why this matters: As a way to access both live TV and streaming video, Android TV is much more promising than Google’s previous effort, the overly-complicated Google TV. But the big question has always been whether major TV makers will embrace another third-party platform instead of building their own smart TV software. If MobileGeeks’ report is accurate, Sony may have found a way to differentiate through its killer Playstation services, which may explain why the company made such a big commitment to Android TV in the first place.