first got a glimpse at what Android TV might look like back in April when The Verge spilled the beans on ‘s plans. At the time, we were completely unimpressed. Of all the pain points around streaming media over the Internet onto your TV, “not enough closed ecosystems of streaming set-top boxes to choose from” is not one of them. A nice user interface is welcome, but what the world really needs is a streaming box that more easily lets us actually watch what we want, when we want. One that brings together all the shows from all the networks, all the movie services, live sports (including local teams), so we can finally ditch those cable companies we hate. Android TV didn’t appear to be that solution. Instead, it was just ‘s version of a Roku or Apple TV or Fire TV. Gigaom’s report does little to ease our fears. It provides three new pieces of key information.

  1. is putting a lot of weight behind an interface code-named no, which puts content first, but app developers aren’t too happy about their content being surfaced outside their app. Maybe there will be some sort of compromise.
  2. Gaming is going to be a big focus. 
  3. Android TV is a platform, not a piece of hardware. It’s meant for vendors to build their own devices that run it, to be built into TVs set-top boxes. Those last two points are worrisome, taken together. If you’re a mobile game developer, you already have a new target to develop for in Android TV: one where the screen is horizontal 16:9, 10 feet away, the game is manipulated with some sort of game controller instead of a touchscreen. If Android TV is available on a wide variety of devices, you then have you worry about a bunch of other things, too. How much RAM does your game require? How much processing power graphics power? If Gigaom’s report is accurate, we’ll find out everything we need to know in less than a month. I/O begins on ne 25.