If you’re buying a Nexus Player with the intention of playing your favorite Android games on your TV, you’ll be pleased to know its wireless Gamepad is now available to order Google Play. It’s priced at $40, and it’s currently shipping in 3-4 weeks.
If you’re an Xbox player, then the Nexus Player’s Gamepad will seem awfully familiar to you. Although its left analog stick has been switched with the d-pad so that it’s level with the right analog stick, the rest of its buttons are in all the same places. It’s also a very similar shape to the Xbox 360 controller… though there is one big difference between the two.
Unlike an Xbox controller, Google’s Gamepad uses Bluetooth to connect to your devices. Bluetooth 3.0 technology is utilized when it’s paired with a Nexus Player, but it is Bluetooth 4.0 compatible. That means you should be able to pair it with other Android-powered devices without too much fuss.
The Gamepad requires two AA batteries (there isn’t a rechargeable one built-in) and weighs 237 grams when it’s battery compartment is empty. In comparison, the official Xbox 360 controller weighs 209 grams.
You can only buy the Gamepad in the U.S. right now, which seems to make sense given that that’s the only place where the Nexus Player is available at this time. However, we expect Google to change that ahead of the holiday season.