Another company is getting ready to launch a video game console designed to let you run Android games on a TV. Gaming accessory maker Mad Catz plans to show off its Project M.O.J.O. console at the E3 show next week, and hopes to release the small video game system by the end of the year.
Mad Catz is entering an increasingly crowded space. Other Android-based game systems including the Ouya, GameStick, and GamePop consoles are all expected to launch this year.
Perhaps the biggest difference between those devices and Project M.O.J.O. is that Mad Catz doesn’t seem to be all that interested in running its own game store. Instead, customers will be able to buy games from existing stores such as Google Play or the Amazon Appstore.
In other words, Mad Catz plans to make its money on hardware, not software. And that could be good for users, since it means they’ll be able to access thousands of games and apps that are already available for Android instead of a curated selection.
It also means that you’ll be able to play games you’ve already purchased on a phone, tablet, or another device.
On the other hand, curation might not be a bad thing — most Android games were designed to be played on smartphones or tablets, not on TVs. That means the controls might not be optimized for game controller input, and the graphics might not be optimized for large displays.
Mad Catz says its line of GameSmart Bluetooth controllers, as well as a keyboard, mouse, or other peripherals. The final hardware specs haven’t been established, but according to an IGN preview, the Project M.O.J.O. system will likely have at least 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, HDMI, WiFi, Bluetooth, a headphone jack, and 2 USB ports.
It’ll likely have a latest-generation processor such as the NVIDIA Tegra 4 chip and ship in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Multiple Android consoles from different vendors running the same game software is really not a bad idea, just like multiple PC vendors making different devices running the same PC software works pretty well.
Let’s put it this way: If this system doesn’t have a Tegra or a Samsung CPU then it is doomed.
The Allwinner and Rockchip stuff being used now is weak by comparison and it really shows when gaming.
BTW: I’m just getting the email today about my Ouya console shipping so let’s hope the other the companies learn from that mess too.
even rockchip, allwinner, amlogic and the rest of the low end offers play store access. OUYA claims to be all about gaming. then shuts off all access to the several hundreds of thousands of games already out there. And the userbase. come on.. talk about the mindless hype following drones. 8 out of 10 OUYA buyers thinks OUYA has build their own OS. For the price of a OUYA you can get specs more than twice that. and the controller is just an evil prank
You are confusing chip manufacturers with the folks who set up the systems.
Play store access is a function of software, and not determined by the hardware manufacturers.
How long have you had your Ouya?
It isn’t all that easy.
The problem with Android gaming is that Android doesn’t support game controller/gamepad devices as any normal USB or BlueTooth device profile. So every game controller is a hack that either requires mapping to touch gestures and/or requires game developers to use a proprietary API. Want to support multiple controllers? You must write your game to use multiple APIs.
Somewhere along the line Google with deal with this, and it will probably obsolete a lot of games and controllers overnight. Since controller developers have no interest in cooperating on a common API today this is probably an inevitable endgame. Since it means “time to buy more” for consumers they are probably fully aware of this and hope to be among those makers/vendors left standing near the end in order to catch the coming windfall.
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