ASUS Gamepad controller for Nexus Player now up for pre-order for $39 on Google Play

By April Taylor , Oct 27, 2014 11:57 AM EDT

Google has officially opened up pre-orders for the ASUS Gamepad, its first proprietary game controller for the new Nexus Player, offering the gadget for $39.

This Gamepad made by ASUS comes as Google's first-ever game controller, and is now finally available for pre-order at an attractive price point on the Google Play Store. The gadget comes to complement the Nexus Player, which is the first real offering for Android TV.

The recently-unveiled Nexus Player is a set-top box powered by Google's Android, and it can naturally play games from the Play Store. This means that users can download Android-based titles onto the Nexus Player and enjoy them on a larger-screen HDTV connected to the set-top box, for instance, with minimum hassle.

When Google unveiled the Nexus Player, it also announced that a controller would soon join the party, and it is now making good on its word. Both the Nexus Player and the Gamepad are now available for pre-order for $99 and $39, respectively.

As a reminder, the Nexus Player packs a 1.8GHz Intel Atom quad-core chip under the hood, paired with an Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics 2D/3D Engine and 1GB of RAM.

The Gamepad, meanwhile comes with two analog sticks, a four-button D-pad, and eight action buttons, two of which serve as pressure-sensitive triggers. Moreover, the Google Nexus Player will allow multi-player gaming sessions, as it supports up to four gamepads.

On the other hand, Google's Android platform still has a pretty long way to go in this department, as the current offers don't include that many notable titles for more serious gaming. Casual gamers, however, may consider the Nexus Player + Gamepad quite an attractive choice, especially since it only requires a $138 investment. Serious gaming usually involves serious consoles, but those come with a price to match and Google's offering is definitely more affordable.

According to the pre-order page on the Google Play Store, the ASUS Gamepad for the Nexus Player will be ready to ship in three to four weeks, which means that it should arrive sometime in late November. It remains to be seen just how many units will make their way to shoppers' holiday carts, but the Nexus Player and Gamepad are expected to be in strong demand this holiday season.

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