Google rumored to launch its own TV set-top box under the Nexus brand next year

We haven't even seen the latest iteration of Google TV yet -- oops, sorry, that's "Android with Google services for TV" these days -- but a new rumor from The Information's Amir Efrati points to a Nexus-branded set-top box directly from Google in the first half of 2014. Previous rumors have noted TV-connected hardware focused on videoconferencing and gaming, and this new rumor also focuses on the latter, indicating that at this stage it runs Android game apps with a touchscreen controller, but doesn't carry live TV. The suggestion is that an "aggressively priced" gaming box (that also plays streaming internet video and is controlled by phone or tablet) would give Google the advertising foothold it's looking for on your family's TV screen.

The $35 Chromecast dongle has been well received and achieves many of those goals, but we'd like to see what Google could do to separate itself from competitors like Apple TV and Roku or Android-powered hardware like the Ouya -- not to mention the next-gen consoles from Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony. What's not mentioned here are other rumors that Google might look into IPTV services, however after Intel bailed on that route it's not surprising. One more competitor that could throw its hat in the ring is Amazon, which has also been the subject of rumors about a TV box on the way. The only thing we're sure to be purchasing anytime soon however, is an HDMI switch to plug all of this stuff in.