We'd heard rumors that Google had been testing a home entertainment device for release this year, and it appears they were true: the page for the $299 Google Nexus Q has appeared on the Google Play Store. Billed as a "social streaming media player," the Nexus Q appears to be a cloud-based device that streams music, video, and YouTube videos, and lets users share and create playlists from their own devices. The Nexus Q will also do double-duty as an amplifier, letting users plug in their own speakers that can be powered by the device's 25-watt amp (Google's $399.99 Triad speakers are another option). Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, and NFC are all supported on the sphere-shaped Q, which also has a capacitive touch sensor that will allow users to mute the audio. Interestingly, the Q is listed as running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich — no mention of Jelly Bean to be found — and will come with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of local storage.
It's very likely that the Q is the final result of Project Tungsten, a home music streaming device that Google demonstrated at last year's I/O conference but has since flown under the radar. While Google has had a tendency to show off items at I/O that never come to market, with both the Nexus Q and the Nexus 7 tablet that leaked this morning, that appears to be changing: the Nexus Q is listed as shipping in two to three weeks. We'll no doubt have even more details on the device after our Google I/O liveblog this morning.