The current generation of Roku streaming devices is 2 years old. Roku 3 hit the shelves in early 2013 and since then nothing has changed for the popular media player. Since such a long time passed and nothing new was released there are rumors that a new Roku will be released in 2015 and everyone is speculating on what its features and hardware might be.
The 4K Dilemma
One of the more interesting topics about the upcoming Roku is 4K support. More and more people own UHD TVs but currently there is no streaming media player that supports such high resolutions. Apple TV announced in a conference that it is too early to introduce 4K streaming devices and they are not looking into developing such a product this year. This means that there is no pressure for Roku to go this path. On the other hand if the Roku 4 will have support for UHD it will actually be the first one in the industry which would surely give it a big advantage.
Looking at the other side of the story we have multiple online streaming services that already support 4K. We are talking about YouTube, Netflix and several other big names that already have an app for the Roku. As time passes by more and more adopters will popup.
In order to support 4K resolutions, more games and a better streaming experience the Roku 4 needs new hardware. The current generation uses a dual-core ARM A9 CPU running at 900 MHz which is way underpowered for anything above 1080p. This means that it is not unlikely to see a quad-core CPU powered device with at least 1GB of DDR3 RAM and more video processing capabilities. Gaming could be something that can evolve on the Roku as the hardware will get more powerful but this is not the main focus of the developers.
Fixes And New Features
Like with most other devices the Roku has some software problems and it is not uncommon to see it hang of freeze. With Roku 3 users had to get up, walk to the device and remove the power cable then plug it back in. What would make things better is a reset button. Instead of removing the power cable it is much easier to just press a button.
Another improvement idea that is heavily discussed is a possible gaming controller. As the upcoming Roku will have more powerful hardware the games will also get better. A controller could prove to be useful. However if that is not on the to-do list of the devs maybe support for third party hardware should be.
The Roku 4 is expected to hit the markets sometime in 2015. There are no official news or comments from the developers but the community is getting ready for the next generation. The anticipation is also fueled by the fact that prior to Roku 3 the company released a new device every year. As of now two years have passed since a new Roku was launched. What is certain is the fact that the Rou 4 will have much more powerful hardware and some of the problems with Roku 3 will get fixed. Gaming will most likely improve and there is a great possibility to see 4K support.