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Introducing Roku 2: A tiny video streaming box with a tinier price

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(Read caption) Roku rolled out its new line of video streaming boxes. Among the new Roku features is the ability to play games, such as Angry Birds, on your TV.

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Roku, a company that produces boxes that stream web content to televisions, announced today that it is unveiling a new lineup of devices that feature games and motion controllers.

The company’s flagship title at launch is Angry Birds, a game that has already collected tens of millions of users. The controller is similar to the Wii MotionPlus controller from Nintendo. Instead of using infrared light to track a motion controller, it uses an internal set of components that track the controller’s orientation. That means the box will register a move to the left or right when you flick the controller.

The device is designed to power 3D graphics. I got to try out Angry Birds on the device (in the video below — I’m not that great at it) and the graphics felt a little sluggish. But given that it’s streaming 1080p video from a tiny box to a huge television, that might be par for the course. The device is powered by a system-on-a-chip architecture, so it doesn’t carry the same oomph that a PlayStation 3 or a Xbox 360 does.

The controller felt very responsive — on par with the Wii MotionPlus controller. It felt like what was happening on-screen was more or less one-to-one with whatever I was doing with the controller.


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