October 11, 2013
Android’s quick manipulation interface makes gaming more fluid and lifelike than ever before. From Kickstarter projects to heavyweight R&D, the Android-embedded gaming products hitting the market are lean, affordable, and innovative. Here is a quick list of some major league players in the world of video game systems.
Wow Factor: Every game free to try. First released to developers for a look under the hood and a head-start, Ouya is constantly innovating. For expert developers and developers-to-be, you’re getting both a video game console and a developer tool-kit in one.
Specs: Game console, USB, and a controller. Like most things Android, the OUYA is small and has a large selection of titles at your fingertips (no more hoarding cartridges!). The system has an 8 gig flash memory and is powered by Android OS.
Cost: A cool $99 with additional controllers costing $50.
Wow Factor: GameStick is very small, but as they say, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog. Gamestick has a lot of fight and it’s best weapon is called high definition. With capability in both HDMI and MHL TVs, the games go from the console straight onto your screen – in HD. Yes, it’s plug and play! With options to purchase additional storage and a wireless charger for the Bluetooth controller, this console means business.
Specs: 1080p video playback, Bluetooth HID Android-compatible controller, full parental control with content filters, and of course, runs on Android OS.
According to your high school English teacher, when a word is written in capital letters, it means to shout or exclaim that word. And the Android-powered Nvidia SHIELD deserves to be shouted indeed. Long passed are the days of sacrificing quality for a handheld gaming system. This device puts tablet quality and gamer tested control in your on-the-go hands.
Wow Factor: Aside from being a hand-held device yet having the capabilities of an in-home console, the built in microphone, USB and HDMI ports, HD video capability, PC beta feature for streaming PC games, and sleek design all make it a remarkable device.
Specs: For the visual learners out there: product video.
500 mobile games on your TV: Think of Game Pop as the Netflix of Android gaming consoles. It’s a subscription service giving users access to hundreds of games.
Wow Factor: The GamePop mini is the size of a stick of gum. For $6.99 a month, you get the GamePop mini and a controller. What’s the difference between the regular and the mini? The regular will have to be a touch more powerful, and more difficult to misplace.
Specs: According to the website, all games will run as fast, or faster, than they do on a top mobile phone. The controller is like none we’ve seen before. Not exactly the disclosure you’d like to see, but the prospect of hundreds of games at your fingertips is enough to get excited about.
Cost: $129 for regular console plus $6.99 subscription. Mini: the subscription is $6.99, but the console is free!