Update: it’s now official. Read up on the official announcement here.
Google’s second generation Chromecast and Chromecast Audio will be launching in Australia this week with JB Hifi stores at least gearing up to launch the devices on February 18th.
The launch date is being distributed to stores with Point of Sale material including barrier covers for the security gates at the front of stores.
Staff will be trained on the finer points of the new generation Chromecasts with the Chromecast 2’s main selling feature being the inclusion of support for WiFi 802.11 AC and dual-band Wi-Fi. The Chromecast Audio is just excellent for turning a speaker into a networked device, as Chris pointed out in his piece on why you should be excited for the launch.
As we saw earlier this month, the Chromecast 2 and Chromecast Audio will be launching at $59 each, a slight increase on the $49 RRP of the original. The increase in price takes into account the weaker Australian dollar as well as the inclusion of GST and companies often add some hedging to ensure that warranty is covered as laid out by Australian Consumer Law.
There’s no word from Google at this stage on the release, with Google Australia preferring not to comment on rumour and speculation. We expect to see the Chromecast 2 and Chromecast Audio on the Google Store when they launch, but for now the landing page for Chromecast Audio and Chromecast 2 simply saying ‘Not Available’.
We’re excited for the launch and can’t wait to see which other retailers are going to be selling the devices, but given the wide reach of the original at The GoodGuys, Bing Lee, Harvey Norman and even Big W, they shouldn’t be too hard to come by. If the original Chromecast is good enough for your needs, then we should see some clearance sales on old stock fairly shortly.