Sorry guys, Google's not changing the game today: the Nexus One will be priced like any other smartphone: $180 on contract with T-Mobile, $530 unlocked, both available through Google's online store. It's what we'd heard, if not what we'd dreamt.
Buying the phone on contract with T-Mobile is exactly like buying any other smartphone on T-Mobile, aside from the fact that the storefront you're purchasing from may be Google's. If you're buying it unlocked, though, there are some serious caveats: namely that this is a GSM phone, which means that it'll only work with T-Mobile or AT&T, and that of the two, the Nexus One is only capable of 3G data connectivity on T-Mobile. So "unlocked" here is more or less meaningless, but hey, no contracts! So there's that.
Google handed the Nexus One out to employees weeks ago, and we even had a change to play with one—in other words, little was left to mystery with the Nexus One, as phone. As a product, though, it had potential: Google's a cash-rich company with a habit of giving things away for free, so... free phone? A partially subisidized, no-contract phone? A Google telco company? Ha, nope. But still, it's a hell of a phone at a reasonable price, so that's worth something. [Google, Nexus One Liveblog]
UPDATE: Existing T-Mobile customers are pretty much getting screwed on the Nexus One discount. Only new customers are eligible for the $180 price.