Starting Sunday, the Logitech Revue with Google TV is available for $99, down from $249. The company also said it will roll out an automatic software update later this summer, which will add Android 3.1, a simplified user experience, and access to the Android Market.
The price drop is the second for the Revue this year; Logitech dropped it from $299 to $249 in May. That, however, did not help sales and during a recent earnings call, the company said that "returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales."
Logitech later issued a clarification to say that it did not mean that more Revues were being returned than purchased.
Back when the Logitech Revue was first announced for about $300, we knew the device wouldn't sell. Google TV was a new, unproven product, and Google wasn't even the company that was technically doing the selling of the devices. Yet somehow, Logitech didn't realize that, and the Revue has sold very, very poorly. So poorly in fact, that there's a major shakeup going on at the company as its now seeking a new CEO. The official word is that people have been returning their purchased Revue boxes faster than others are buying new ones, and that's just not good. In an effort to increase consumer adoption, Logitech has slashed the price of the Revue down to $99--a $150 reduction in price. So, anyone plan on picking up one of these? Hey, it'll be getting an Android Honeycomb update sometime soon.
Just under a year from when Google and Logitech first unveiled the first Google TV, otherwise known as the Logitech Revue, Google I/O 2011 is this week in San Francisco with some real hope for the platform. Google just signed a deal that brings thousands of videos YouTube.
Content, content, content. Without it, you're as dead in the water as the some extended cable channel at 3 a.m. The only reason that fools like me own one is the vague hope that Google might see the light, open its pocketbook, and perhaps give us some real content to watch.
It's odd, in a way, that consumers could even gripe about such a thing. A few bucks to Netflix or to Hulu opens up a wealth of fresh and archived content that should keep the most devoted couch potato rooted for weeks. But there's something inutterably frustrating about visiting a website and seeing content blocked—blocked!—just because you own a particular piece of hardware.
It seems likely that Samsung will announce its Google TV devices this week, in addition to a Chrome OS netbook. With Logitech reporting just $5 million in sales for the Revue, it would seem that the supply will outstrip the demand.
But with Google's deal that brings rentals to YouTube, there's hope for the platform yet. While Google TV doesn't look likely to dominate the media streamer market, let's look at what Google could do to make the next generation of Google TV succeed.
When Google TV was announced, one of the more interesting partnerships was between Google and Logitech. Logitech has been working on a set-top box that would become a part of your entertainment system to allow you to access that Google TV goodness, but it went unnamed—until now. Today, Logitech revealed that their Google TV box will be called Logitech Revue. They go on to explain that a “revue” was the term used for old-timey theatrical shows that combined music, dance, and sketches. They aim to do the same, but with modern cable, web, apps, and all the current stuff that we do today for entertainment. They want the Logitech Revue to being all that together. Look for it this fall.
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