Amazon is said to be readying an Android-based gaming console to be released later this year. Rumors about the said console surfaced last year, but faced unexpected delays and will likely be pushing for a 2014 launch.
Though most gamers choose to play on their Xbox, PlayStation or PC, some people are looking for cheaper or even smaller alternatives.
With that in mind, let’s check out some of the microconsoles already out in the market.
4 microconsoles already on the market
Ouya started as a Kickstarter project, crushing its funding goal by raising over $8.5 million. Ouya’s developer-centric nature hugely influenced its journey to stardom, but it may also have something to do with the price, as the 8GB version only costs $99.
It’s an Android-powered console that comes in a small package, but don’t let that fool you. Ouya is packed with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage, which can be expanded via USB. You can connect it to the internet using WiFi or Ethernet to download games or stream media in 1080p HD.
Ouya comes with one controller that’s ergonomically designed for maximum comfort during long hours or gaming. The controller features a touchpad for new dimensions of gameplay and 15 buttons to mash as you please. Also, you can connect up to four controllers to the console so you can share the experience with your buddies. There are over 500 games to choose from but if you can’t decide which ones to purchase, fret not, all Ouya games are free to try.
This little gadget is a portable console. But because you can connect it to an external monitor, the Nvidia Shield acts like a microconsole, and uses an external controller, like the Nyko PlayPad Pro, to control the device. The console looks like an Xbox controller that’s been fitted with a small screen for personal enjoyment.
The Nvidia Shield is Android-based and has been updated to run Android 4.3, supporting game apps from Google Play. It runs Nvidia Tegra 4 processor and has features that allows the user to customize and optimize the device for maximum entertainment experience such as the GameStream, TegraZone, Game Mapper, and Grid Cloud gaming.
The Nvidia Shield is available for $249, a bit pricey, but you must admit that it’s stylish, and you’re getting a microconsole and a portable console in one, justifying the price.
Gaming in the palm of your hand – literally – as the console itself is as big as a USB thumb drive, probably making it the smallest gaming console available in the market. The microconsole easily stores inside the controller so you can bring it anywhere and start playing anytime you want.
The Gamestick is an Android-based console that features an ARM CORTEX – A9 CPU, MALI – 400 GPU, 8GB storage and supports 32GB Micro SD Card for expansion, built in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, 1080p Video Playback, Bluetooth 4.0, and delivers Android tablet gaming experience to a bigger screen. Gamestick is available for only $79.99 and games are quite cheap, averaging $2.99 each.
This consists of a wireless controller with media controls and the OnLive Microcosole. The console itself looks like an external hard drive and you need to connect it your HDTV and an electric socket to start using it.
The controller looks similar to the PlayStation controller, spiced up with media controls to make it easier for you to control media playback. The OnLive Microconsole is really tiny because everything needs to be streamed from games to music and videos. The OnLinve Game System costs $99.99.