ASUS soon to jump into the Google TV bandwagon with the ‘Qube’ (Update: Nexus Q replacement?)

There is a plethora of Android manufacturers out there, but very few have the guts to test the waters with Google TV. This platform is a dangerous one: Sony and Logitech have seen experienced its downsides first-hand. Needless to say part of that is Google’s fault, as they have not pushed the platform enough to make it enticing for both customers and developers. Manufacturers continue to join, though, further improving Google TV’s odds at taking the smart TV market. And if a recent FCC filing comes to fruition, ASUS will be the very next player.

ASUS has been a major Android manufacturer. The company’s tablets are among the most popular, with great specs, innovating designs, even better prices and timely updates. These guys have really gone all out and quickly raced to the top. This is why the idea of ASUS making a Google TV device sounds exciting, but it seems they will be going a different route.

THE FCC filing proves that the ASUS Qube with Google TV wil not be a typical set-top box. Instead, it will be a USB stick that will turn any TV into a Google TV. Indeed, very similar to the Roku USB stick. It is said to carry a 1.5GHz dual-core Marvell Armada processor, which is typical among Google TV devices.

More proof of this Google TV device’s existence comes from the Google Play Store. ASUStek has released 2 apps dedicated to Google TV controls (O!Mobile Control Center and Remote). There is no other reason why ASUS would release such apps than making them available to a Google TV device of their own.

Other specs and features are still unknown, but having a Google TV stick definitely raises some concerns. It is great for portability and will probably be affordable, but the smaller package will most likely come with some sacrifices. It is harder to pack the same hardware into a smaller device. This USB stick will probably not have a USB port for accessories and storage devices. We should at least hope it will have an HDMI or coaxial input for TV support, but even that is up in the air as of now.

Google TV is much more than a simple streaming service. It works with live television to create a much more interactive experience. The lack of such support will definitely make a difference, but there are definitely many chord-cutters out there who prefer to use Google TV without a TV input. This means these possible hardware limitation won’t necessarily be bad for many users. There will be a market to cater to, but you probably want to be informed before you pull out your credit cards.

The device has gone through the FCC, so an announcement is more than likely coming. And yes, it will probably be during CES 2013, this January. You can be sure we will be there, so let’s stay tuned!

Update

The Verge’s anonymous “sources” claim that the ASUS Qube will be a Nexus device that will act as a replacement to the canceled Nexus Q. This actually makes sense, and not only because of the similarities in the name (Qube and Q). The Nexus Q was postponed/canceled because Google wanted to make it “even better.”

This streaming orb offered video and music streaming, as well as some other features, but Google TV and Android fans were wondering why Google did not simply add Google TV to the device. It would definitely justify that other wise high $300 price tag. Could it be that Google has decided to partner with ASUS and change the whole strategy.

These sources also claim that this device should be available in January. We would take all of this with a grain of salt. Though The Verge is a very renowned tech site, no one is immune to error, especially when it comes to these types of rumors. Let’s just wait and see what happens! This would be great news, though, and a step closer to a possible Nexus TV.

[FCC via Phandroid]