Roku has unveiled its latest streaming players, the Roku 2 series. The petite Roku 2 feature all of the same features we liked in the previous Roku XDS along with a lot of potentially exciting new features.
The new Roku boxes are smaller than the last generation of Rokus and, thanks to a mobile chipset inside, run much cooler and faster than previous models. All three models feature a microSD card slot, in case you're in need of more storage space than the models provide. The company says it has improved its local storage access, something we had issues with on the Roku XDS.
The Roku 2 models also feature Bluetooth support for connecting with Roku's new motion-sensitive, nunchuk-like Game Remote. This is important, given that Roku's content channel services will be offering games for the first time. The big draw however is likely to be a new Angry Birds channel that allows you to play a full version of the ultra-popular mobile game on your TV for the first time. Angry Birds comes free with the top-tier Roku 2 XS.
Roku also offers two higher end-models: a mid-range HD box called the Roku 2 XD that supports 1080p, and a high end box--the Roku XS--that has Ethernet and USB ports for faster streaming along with a free game remote.
Aside from the new hardware, the Roku 2 also comes standard with several new content channels from the likes of Facebook, Major League Socce,r and FOX News, in addition to the gaming content.
TThe Roku 2 HD costs $60 and supports up to 720p video. The Roku 2 XD costs $80 and the Roku 2 XS costs $100; both can handle up to 1080p video. All three will ship by the end of the month. All three models support gaming, but only the XS comes with the otherwise optional $30 gaming remote.