We all know that android gaming is getting huge.The android games we play on our phones today are more advanced that the games we played on our handheld consoles. More and more manufacturers and developers are now trying to tap into this huge market by releasing Android gaming machines in the coming days. Today, we have laid down a complete list of the most wanted Android consoles in the market.
Ouya is all set to be released to the masses. It is currently the most famous android micro-console. The console comes with an analogue controller and all the hardware is packed in a neat plastic box. The battery resides inside the holders of the analogue controller and the covers of the handle can be removed and replaced. Inside the box, there is a 1.7 GHz quad core A9 processor with Nvidia’s Tegra 3, 1GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage expandable by microSD. The backside of the box has, ports for AC adapter, micro-USB and Ethernet, HDMI, USB and supports WI-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. With these specs all current android titles will run on Ouya until more demanding games hit the market. Ouya has its own UI and market place and doesn’t provide access to Google Play Store. This means you will get games that are guaranteed to run well.
This console is priced at $99 and set to release this month.
At $79, Game stick is the most affordable android micro-console right now. It has enough power to run popular 3D games like Shadowgun and Modern Combat 3. Much of the hardware features are similar to Ouya except the latter is more powerful and expensive. Under the GamesStick is a 1.5 GHz Amlogic 8736-MX processor with mali 400 GPU, 1 GB of RAM, internal storage of 8GB expandable upto 32GB with microSD, micro USB port, 3.5mm jack with microphone support and 802.11b/g Wi-FI and Bluetooth 4.0. This device looks like a big thumb drive and comes with an analog controller which connects to GameStick via Bluetooth 4.0. Connecting the device to the TV is very simple. All you have to do is plug in to your TV’s HDMI port and you are good to go. You can either use USB or power adapter to run the Game Stick.
As you must have noticed, unlike Ouya the GameStick does not have a quad core Tegra processor. Hence GameStick will not be able to run Tegra optimized games which have better graphics and effects. However, casual gamers wouldn’t care much about this. Gamestick has its own UI and plans to bring its own store with 100 titles.
Mad Catz Project MOJO
Mad Catz, the gaming peripheral manufacturer, has decided to enter the android console market with MOJO. While Ouya has a rounded design, MOJO has a flattened rectangular design. The hardware specs for MOJO are not yet released. However, we expect an ARM based processor with Tegra 4. We know that it comes with internal 16GB of storage with microSD support, HDMI, micro-USB, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n.
MOJO doesn’t plan to have its own store and allows you to download any stock android games from the Google Play Store. However, since most games on the Play store are touchscreen based, they will not run well on a TV.
One of the cool things is that if you already own a Mad Catz USB or Bluetooth mouse or controller, you can use it on project M.O.J.O. The console wil also come with mouse mode where you can use mouse to play games like Angry Bird by dragging the bird with mouse pointer.
MOJO is set to release this holiday season and will compete with Ouya and GameStick.
Bluestacks, popularly known for BlueStacks app player, is entering the micro-console market with Gamepop. Gamepop was free for subscribers who preordered the console on May. Reports also say that BluesStacks will bring top ios games to its console. Gamepop will not be much different from other micro-consoles in terms of design or hardware. However, it uses a different model for game purchase. Unlike Ouya or M.O.J.O where you purchase entire game from market, Gamepop will let you play any games from its library of more than 500 titles at a monthly subscription of $6.99.
Gamepop can be preordered for $129.
Nvidia’s Project SHIELD was well received by last year’s CES and is now all set for its retail launch in a few weeks. This portable handheld device comes with a gorgeous 5 inch (1280X720) 720p retinal touchscreen display and is currently has the most powerful android gaming hardware with Tegra 4 powered Quadcore ARM A15 CPU with 2GB RAM and 72 core Nvidia GPU. Other hardware features include, 16GB internal storage with microSD support, mini-HDMI output, micro-USB, 3.5mm headphone jack, 802.11 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS and integrated stereo speakers with built in microphone.
Tegra 4 optimized games are yet to hit the market but the SHIELD comes preloaded with many such games and demos. One of them is Dead trigger 2. You can checkout youtube demo of this game to see how awesome it looks on Tegra 4. Also, the SHIELD will run on the latest Android Jellybean OS. You can download games from Google Play and Nvidia’s TegraZone.
The SHIELD is priced at $350
Updated: Now the price of SHIELD has been dropped to $299
Wikipad is going to be a close competitor to NVIDIA SHIELD with a $100 less price tag and a slightly toned down features. Wikipad is a tablet/handheld console hybrid. Its most noticeable hardware is the detachable analogue controller. Once you detach the controller, the Wikipad turns into a standalone android tablet. Thus, it is ideal for office, home and gaming.
Wikipad has a scratchproof 7 inch 1280X800 IPS multi-touch display. It runs on Android Jellybean 4.1 and is powred a 12-core Nvidia GPU and Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Other specifications include 1 GB RAM, internal storage of 16GB with microSD slot, 2 Megapixels front facing camera, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.0. It provides ports for Micro USB, micro-HDMI, 3.5 mm jack and built in stereo speakers and microphone. Wikipad is similar in size to the ipad mini or the 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab.
Wikipad users can download games from different markets such as Google Play, PlayStation Mobile, Big Fish Games, Nvidia’s TegraZone and OnLive store.The Wikipad is priced at $250 and is set for US market after June 11.
I don’t get it.. Why would people buy these when they already own a smartphone? And there are real consoles out there like Xbox and Playstation.
In the graphics department, I think Android is slowly catching up . For now,,these consoles are enough for casual gamers who don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on consoles and gaming pcs.