Interestingly, despite a Sony execs saying that its Google TV model was meeting sales expectations, for the second round it's focusing on two add-on boxes. The NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray player and NSZ-GS7 network media player (pictured above) will ship in North America and Europe in early summer, and are expect to roll out in other regions afterwards as Google TV expands its reach. Common to both boxes is a completely reimagined remote, featuring a backlit QWERTY keyboard, touchpad and motion control for gaming. We're not hearing anything about IR blasters up front this time around, but it can work as a universal remote to control other devices with "basic" control of Sony's 2012 HDTVs as well, while the Blu-ray player supports voice search as well. Unspecified at this time are the provenance of the internals, although the switch away from its Intel predecessors should yield cheaper, cooler running units. There's no price or expected ship date available currently, check back for more info and hands-on with these as well as the other new Sony hardware shortly.

Update: We got our hands all over the new hardware and our first impression is: it's tiny. The network streamer is still bigger than a Roku, but compared to say, a Revue, the switch to ARM has clearly had a slimming effect on Google TV. The Blu-ray player is similarly shrunken, with its footprint down to merely what a normal player would occupy. The remote is conveniently backlit this time around, and dual sided. It certainly has an improved feel this time around, but is it good enough to satisfy the masses? We'll know better after we've spent more time with it. Check the pics in the gallery to see for yourself.
Gallery | 23 Photos

Sony Google TV Blu-ray player, network player & remote hands-on

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SONY DELIVERS NEW GOOGLE TV™ DEVICES AT CES

Network Media Player and New Blu-ray DiscTM Player powered by Google TV Use a New Remote Control to Bring a More-Personalized Entertainment Experience to the Home


LAS VEGAS, Jan. 9, 2012 (CES Booth #14200) – Sony Electronics today announced the addition of two new home devices powered by the Google TV platform. Sony was one of the industry's first to launch the Google TV products in 2010, and is now taking another step into the future of the home entertainment convergence. The NSZ-GS7 Network Media Player and NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray Disc Player will both arrive on shelves in North America and Europe in early summer 2012, and distribution is planned to expand and include other countries and regions.

"The first generation of devices powered by Google TV combined the powerful Android platform with Sony's legendary home audio/video hardware to deliver on the promise of converging entertainment," said Charles Speidel, vice president of Sony Electronics Home Audio and Video Division. "These brilliant additions advance positive features of the previous models, bringing an intuitive remote control and cross-device connectivity with smartphones, tablets and Sony Internet Audio & Video products – enhancing the home entertainment experience."

In 2010, Sony introduced the world's first television and a Blu-ray Disc player powered by Google TV. In 2011, the platform was updated and added the Android MarketTM, making the first-generation Sony Internet TV devices easier to navigate and giving viewers access to over one thousand apps, including approximately 150 apps optimized for TV, for an enhanced customized entertainment experience.

The Google TV difference starts with the cross search functionality, which crawls all content sources available from broadcast providers* and the Internet to deliver customized video results on demand. Both new boxes come complete with a redesigned remote control equipped with a backlit QWERTY keyboard, a touch pad for easy operation and a three-axis motion sensor to enjoy games. Additionally, the remote control can also be utilized as a universal remote to control connected devices such as TV, set top box and amplifiers - the NSZ-GP9 Blu-ray Disc Player even incorporates voice search capabilities. By using Sony apps Media Remote™ and TrackID® for Android and iOS mobile devices, users may achieve cross-device connectivity. TrackID is also pre-installed in NSZ-GS7 and NSZ-GP9, allowing customers to search on their connected TV. The new remote control can manage basic operations on select compatible 2012 BRAVIA televisions and seamlessly display Android Market or apps on the menu screen.

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