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Asus launches Qube, the Google TV-powered set-top box with a unique interface

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Asus Qube
Asus Qube

The life of the Google-supported home theater device has been a bizarre one. First the Nexus Q launched, and then didn't, and then a dongle for a new "Nexus" set-top box running Google TV popped up at the FCC. Asus just cleared things up a bit, however, announcing the new Qube with Google TV set-top box. The Qube itself looks a bit like a Boxee box, a black ridged cube designed to sit next to your TV or in your entertainment stack.

It's powered by Google TV, and comes with the latest features of the OS — voice search, the new YouTube app, and the like — plus a new "Qube" interface developed by Asus. The Qube interface shows everything on screen "via a rotating on-screen cube shape," and is navigated by a motion-sensitive remote control or via your smartphone. We're a little surprised to see the customization, since the Qube was thought to be the "Nexus" Google TV device, but we'll have to try out the wacky new interface before we decide for sure how we feel. Also odd is the fact that Asus bundles 50GB of cloud storage through its WebStorage service with every Qube — from a Google-approved device, we'd expect more of a push toward Google services and less toward its competitors.

No word yet on when the Qube will be available, or how much it will cost, but we're betting it will come in well south of the Nexus Q's steep $299 price tag.