FORTUNE — In a jam-packed keynote that included a long list of significant software announcements, a box full of free hardware and a live-streamed skydive onto the roof of Moscone West, Google (GOOG) unveiled its strongest challenge yet to Apple’s (AAPL) computing and entertainment ecosystem.
The highlights of the two hour-plus presentation:
- Google Play, a rebranding of Android Market in which 600,000 apps have been enhanced with movies, TV shows, books and magazines to compete with Apple’s iTunes.
- The Nexus Q, a $299 bowling ball-shaped media player that plugs into a TV, connects wirelessly to speakers and serves as a gateway to the content on Google Play. Can be controlled party-style by several Android devices simultaneously.
- Nexus 7, a 7-inch $199 tablet built for Google by Asus that looks (and is priced) more like the Amazon (AMZN) Kindle Fire than an Apple iPad. Comes with Google Chrome built-in.
- Jelly Bean (A.K.A. Android 4.1) enhanced with Siri-like voice controls and dictation, an improved photo-sharing feature called Google Beam, improved search and navigation, and a bottom-up performance upgrade called Project Butter.
- Google Glass, the company’s futuristic computer-in-an-eyeglass-frame, which will be available for sale to developers in early 2013 for $1,500.
The biggest crowd pleaser: The announcement that all 6,000 attendees will be getting a free Nexus Galaxy phone, a Nexus 7 tablet and a Nexus Q media player.
The dramatic highlight: The live-streamed video of Google Glass-wearing stuntmen performing a variety of death-defying feats: skydivers jumping out of a passing blimp to land on the roof of the Moscone West; cyclists leaping from building to building via bicycle ramps; mountain climbers rappelling down the side of the conference center.
Almost lost in the hoopla is the fact that except for its lead in Android phone sales, Google is playing catch-up on almost every front. Google Play and the Nexus Q, in particular, are coming in late. Microsoft (MSFT) has a huge installed base of multi-media players in its XBox 360 and Apple has a decade-long head start with iTunes.
Analysts wasted no time comparing Google’s offerings to Apple’s: