The lights are on
Amid the constant debates on mobile gaming takeover come a new wave of options for those looking to take their casual game pursuits further. After Nvidia’s announcement of the price drop of the Shield, we’ve decided to offer a roundup of the top Android based handhelds coming your way this summer and beyond.
The real challenge for any of these systems is whether or not they will be worth purchasing when all of the games can be played on phones and tablets already. But those looking for other options to play their Android favorites are in the right place.
GamePopPrice: Free through this month with a $6.99 subscription per month for one year. To be priced at $129 later after initial offer has passed.Release Date: Anticipated Winter 2013
Pros:-Offers not only Android support, but also iOS games.-More than 500 games are included free with the monthly subscription. The games are accessed through streaming rather than through purchase and download.
Cons:-The hardware specifics have not been released yet, making it harder to convince prospective owners to preorder with no real information on what the GamePop is capable of.-Sure, the GamePop itself looks pretty sleek, but what’s the controller like? No information has been given on it yet, but the trailer reveals you can use your Android phone or iPhone as a controller as well.
GameStickPrice: $79.99Release Date: July 9, 2013
Pros:-1 GB DDR3 RAM, 8 GB Flash memory (expandable up to 32 GB)-Android Jelly Bean 4.2-Connect easily through a wireless dock, meaning no struggling with hard-to-reach TV HDMI ports.-Offers the ability to stream Netflix through your television. (Then again, what doesn’t?)
Cons:-According to Ben Reeves, in his hands-on experience with the GameStick, the controller is boxy and uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. Which defeats the purpose of playing mobile games on your TV.-You will have to re-purchase any previously purchased games specifically for the GameStick, as it does not use the Google Play store. Whether or not the low entry price point of the GameStick makes up for that is up for debate.
MOJO by Mad CatzPrice: Not yet announcedRelease Date: Anticipated Winter 2013
Pros:-Details are scarce on the MOJO, but the mini console itself is portable and the controller is virtually an Xbox 360 copy from the looks of it. -MOJO will have full Google Play store and Amazon Appstore support, meaning you won't have to re-purchase any games.
Nvidia ShieldPrice: $299Release Date: June 27, 2013
Pros:-2 GB RAM, 16 GB Flash memory-Super powerful Tegra 4 processor.-Take the TV out of the equation. The Nvidia Shield includes a 5-inch, 720p screen mounted to the controller.-Offers the ability to play PC games by accessing your compatible gaming computer when both it and the Shield are on WiFi.-Android games are available through Google Play and Nvidia Tegrazone. -Initial impressions have been positive.
Cons:-$299. Really? Still too expensive for most, even after the aforementioned price drop. And that’s $299 on top of the cost of whatever price a compatible gaming PC would be to access that feature.
Ouya Price: $99.99Release Date: June 25, 2013
Pros:-1 GB RAM, 8 GB of Flash memory-Ouya offers app support in addition to new games created by developers of all sizes. This means the Ouya will have more purpose than just another way to play Android titles.-Every title is free to demo before purchase.-The developer kit is available to every customer, meaning emulators and other innovations are a high possibility.-Controller design looks practical and comfortable.
Cons:-Tegra 3 is a little weak in comparison to Nvidia Shield.-The growth of the Ouya may be weak when it comes to larger publishers due to the open nature of the hardware.
Wikipad 7Price: $249Release Date: Available now.
Pros:-1 GB RAM, 16 GB memory (expandable up to 32 GB)-Offers more value because it still functions as a tablet in addition to a gaming device.-Loaded up with Android Jelly Bean 4.1 right out of the box.-Quad core CPU for high-speed needs.
Cons: -The price point is on the high end at $249. For $50 more, the Nvidia Shield offers a stronger processor and the ability to play PC titles. While it's not a bad price point for a tablet, there are plenty of other options when it comes to gaming on the go.
Will you be swayed to purchase any of these devices? Or will you be sticking with your phones and consoles? Speak your mind in the comments below.