New Roku 2 Players Offer Gaming20 Jul, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Second-generation streaming media devices offer video game functionality, lower energy use and sleeker design
Roku Inc., which spearheaded the streaming video market in 2008 with the launch of a Netflix-branded media player, July 20 bowed a series of newly designed devices capable of playing casual gaming such as Angry Birds, among others.
Saratoga, Calif.-based Roku said the Roku 2 HD, Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 XS will also include separate channels for Facebook, AOL HD and FoxNews.com, among others, later this summer.
All three Roku 2 models, which are priced from $59.99, feature built-in wireless, Bluetooth for connecting a game remote and a microSD slot to support additional game storage. The Roku 2 HD player supports up to 720p HD video, while the Roku 2 XD player supports up to 1080p HD video. Since all Roku 2 players support casual games, customers will be able to purchase the game remote with motion control for use with the Roku 2 HD and Roku 2 XD players.
The Roku Game Remote will be available in the coming weeks as part of a bundle that includes a 2GB microSD card for a suggested retail price of $29.99 at Roku.com.
Roku 2 also adds several significant enhancements to its acclaimed Netflix experience, including support for English subtitles, Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 pass-through and up to 1080p HD video quality (on the XD and XS models).
“We’ve worked closely with Rovio to bring the first full version of Angry Birds to the TV — and best of all, we’re including it for free with the top-of-the-line XS model,” said Roku founder Anthony Wood.
Roku, which markets devices at Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon and Fry's Electronics, has sold more than 1 million players since its launch three years ago.