A New Console Market is Born at E3

06/09/2013

Written by: E. Thomas

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The E3 Expo is the most important venue for launching a new video game product. The eyes of the world will be on the Los Angeles Convention center this week as the E3 Expo takes the center stage. This year gamers will witness the birth of an entirely new console market. Three new Android based consoles are set to debut at E3, and although they may not compete with the big dogs, they will certainly create their own market and shake things up in the video game industry.

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Ouya:

The Ouya console was the darling of Kickstarter raising over 8.5 million dollars in funding. The system recently gained another 15 million dollars in venture capital giving this console some heavy financial support. This year the company behind Ouya will be holding a public event just outside of the E3 venue. They know that E3 is the place to be and they're ready to make a big splash.

The console itself has many interesting and unique features. The first and most important is the "free to play" gaming market. Basically you download a game, start playing it, and if you like it you buy it. If you don't purchase the game eventually it stops working and you must delete it from your internal storage. Games will play in resolution up to 1080p and prices start at just $1. The Ouya library is already growing and features a number of hit Android titles such as zombie suvival quest The Organ Trail and free running title Canabalt.

The Ouya controller is small, ergonomic and very comfortable. The controller also features a touch pad which is positioned between the two analog sticks. This unique touch pad is such a good idea that Sony is using a similar concept on their new PS4 controller. The touch pad can be very handy when navigating menus or when using a d-pad or analog stick would be a tedious and slow process.

The Ouya console has both internal and external memory support. The base unit has two USB ports and a micro SD slot.

The Ouya will go on sale to the public in June and will retail for $99. Kickstarter versions have already been delivered to their backers.

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GameStick:

The GameStick is a portable Android based game console. The system consists of nothing more than a small thumb drive style Android device that plugs into the HDMI port of your television. The stick also comes with a wireless bluetooth controller. The Game Pad and the GameStick fit together in one small package which is very convenient for travel. It definitely has a distinct advantage in the area of portability and also in cost. At a price of $79 it's cheaper than both the Ouya and Project Mojo.

GameStick also has it's own storefront which gives gamers access to a wide variety of Android titles. Games are stored on the interner memory of the gamestick which can run up to 8GB. The system also features a micro USB slot which supports micro SD cards up to 32GB. For an additional price gamers can purchase the GameDock. The dock features an ethernet hub as well as three USB ports. It can also be used to charge the GamePad controller. Finally the USB ports are compatible with other USB devices such as cameras, microphones, controllers and more.

GameStick will go on sale in June and will sell for $79.

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Mad Catz Project MOJO:

Project MOJO is the new Android based console from Mad Catz, a company well known for it's third party accessories and peripherals. The unique advantage of the Project MOJO is it's ability to play stock Android titles. This means the market for games on this console is wide open. Anything that will run on your Android device will also run on Project MOJO.

Just like the Ouya and the GameStick, the Project MOJO is billed as an open device. This means potential developers can dowload develompent kits and create products and software for the console for free.

Running stock Android titles creates one small problem, many of these games are designed to work with a touch screen or a mouse. Project MOJO is compatible with a wide variety of hardware accessories including mouse / keyboards, microphones, controllers and more. The controller itself also has a "mouse cursor mode" which lets users control games designed for a mouse with the analog stick on the controller.

Project MOJO will debut at the 2013 E3 Expo. It will go on sale this fall for a cost of $130. We expect more announcements at E3, along with a potential name change. Stay tuned for more details.

THE FINAL WORD:

The 2013 E3 Expo will witness the birth of the android console market. These new products are designed to be affordable, open source, easy to use consoles. They will appeal to budget gamers, casual and hardcore gamers and people living in developing markets around the world. The android console market has tremendous potential to be a breeding ground for the big name developers of the future. That's probably the best part of these products. They give the amateur developer a chance to shine. Not to mention they offer a solid, budget price console to those on a limited budget. We can't wait to learn more about all of these products at the E3 Expo.

About The Author: Elliott S. Thomas is a hardcore gaming enthusiast. He always buys every console on the market. He also enjoys handheld, mobile, arcade and PC gaming. If it plays games Elliott owns it.