There are many people who have an Apple TV but there are alternatives available, none more so than the Roku set top boxes. Now today the Roku 2 lineup is announced with three new models and casual gaming are due to be released.
All three of the new models will come in at less than $100, just like the previous lines. Each of the new versions will also be smaller than the older models, and according to Tim Gideon of PCMag they will be equipped for casual gaming with newly designed remote controls.
For fans of Angry Birds the top of the line model the Roku 2 XS comes with the game preloaded, and a gaming remote with motion control similar to a Nintendo Wii controller. At first the only game available for the new devices will be Angry Birds, but more titles are in the pipeline including other Angry Bird titles. The other two models don’t come with the gaming remote and it will need to be purchased separately, but are equipped for gaming.
All the boxes come preloaded with channels or apps for the content, which now include besides Angry Birds; Facebook, Major League Soccer, FoxNews.com, and AOL HD. These are added to the channel selection of almost 300 titles that includes the likes of Netflix and Hulu Plus. Users also have access to Flickr, UFC, NBA Game Time, NHL GameCenter Live, and Vimeo among others.
The Roku 2 XS and XD have higher video resolution and are capable of 1080p playback, but the Roku 2 HD is only capable of 720p. The top of the range XS model also comes with an Ethernet port and USB connectivity for using media stored on USB drives. All three of the units have Bluetooth which the gaming remote uses and a MicroSD input.
The units are priced as follows; the Roku 2 HD entry model retails at $59.99, the Roku 2 XD retails at $79.99, and the top of the range Roku 2 XS is $99.99. If you decide to get one of the lower end models and then decide to play games, the gaming remote package will cost you $29.99. This does include a 2GB MicroSD card but you may be better off just buying the Roku XS to begin with.
The new models are expected to hit major retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy by the end of the month. Do you use a Roku set top box?