It can’t provide an array of covert weapons for getting out of a bind or a good scolding, but Google’s new Nexus Q ($299) accessory does allow Android users to stream video and music content from Google’s Play applications as well as YouTube to their home theater. In fact, anyone with an Android device connected to the Q’s local Wifi network can take control of the ball and contribute to the media bonanza.

Astute gadget shoppers will note that the Q is pricey compared to other media streamers, but it does pack a few features outside of 1GM of RAM, dual-band WiFI and Ethernet, and the same OMAP 4460 processor found in the Galaxy Nexus, that other’s don’t. And in a clever, commendable twist, it’s also made right here in the USA (bravo, Google). Specifically, that premium is justified by goodies like 16GB of internal storage, an internal 25-watt amp for powering external speakers and near-field communication capabilities for tapping devices to wirelessly exchange software and content. Google says the new bridge to the living room will ship sometime this month, leaving us to ponder once more why anyone would buy into Google TV.

Buy Now: $200