With the Nexus Q, Google is planting its flag in the living room, allowing users to share media from Google Play with their home entertainment center. But unlike its closest competitor, the Apple TV, the Nexus Q isn't a standalone platform and requires an Android smartphone or tablet connected to the same Wi-Fi network to access content. The Nexus Q requires one or more Android 4.1 devices to provide access videos or music offered on Google Play, though the company says support for Android 2.3 and beyond should be available at launch. The Nexus Q can be paired with several Android devices simultaneously and supports content from each user's unique Google Play account.
At launch, the Nexus Q will also only provide media sharing capabilities to the Google Play app, and it's unclear when, if ever, third-party apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus will be allowed to share media with the device. By the looks of things, Google TV is, in fact, the true competitor to the Apple TV, and the Nexus Q is merely intended as a gateway device.