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Following the popularity of Google’s Chromecast streaming stick the web giant has officially made its comparative streaming box, the Nexus Player, available in the UK.

We first saw the Nexus Player in the US back in November, now however Google has decided to roll out the set top box to the UK, where adoption of similar products like Now TV and Apple TV has been favourable.

The Nexus Player features many of the same offerings of the Chromecast, such as effectively turning any TV with a HDMI port into a Smart TV, but increases performance and offers a greater range of functionality – this is primarily based on the fact it is the first device to run ‘Android TV’.

One facet of the Nexus Player is to cover all of the basics of a streaming box, so the device allows you to project the screen of your favourite (Android) devices to your TV and offers apps and services like Netflix to be streamed directly to your TV, but goes further by offering a dedicated gamepad that can be used to play a selection of mobile games on the big screen of a TV; effectively the gamepad will turn the streaming box into a bare bones games console.

The titles are limited to those in the Play Store, such as Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 4, but it’s an interesting angle from a set top box and may offer one level of functionality that is currently not matched by some competitors (although most rumours suggest that this may become the standard for these sorts of devices in the near future).

Google’s Nexus Player has arrived on our shores at a cost of £79 and is available from the Google Store directly, but can also be picked up at most decent tech retailers.

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