First teased during CES 2012 in January, Vizio has announced that its Google TV powered Co-Star stream player will begin selling in July for $99.99. That’s half of what Sony is charging for the NSZ-GS7 set-top box we covered yesterday, yet in addition to the usual video streaming services and Google TV features, it includes additional functionality through a partnership with game streaming service CloudOn.
The device itself offers support for 1080p video over HDMI, 802.11n wireless, Ethernet, a USB port for storage and peripherals, and ships with a Bluetooth remote that has a touchpad, full QWERTY keyboard with gaming buttons on its reverse side, and direct launch buttons for Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and M-Go.
As with other Google TV devices, you’ll be able to surf the web on your HDTV using Google Chrome with Adobe Flash Player and HTML 5 support, and access a handful of apps while keeping an eye on live television. Unfortunately, early impressions suggest the Google TV experience still needs a bit of polishing.
At least the Co-Star is relatively cheap — it costs the same as an OnLive microconsole and offers a lot more functionality. The device is also compatible with OnLive's wireless controller and several Xbox 360-compatible controllers, but only includes its universal Bluetooth remote, which will hardly provide a good gaming experience. For reference, the OnLive wireless controller is priced at $49.99.