The system, currently called Mojo, comes bundled with Mad Catz’ own game controller as well as a miniature console with USB and HDMI connections.
Rival Android microconsole Ouya primarily sells games through a bespoke on-console marketplace, Mojo runs stock Android and gives players access to the Google Play, Amazon and Nvidia TegraZone stores.
How well those Google Play games are optimised for televisions and game controllers could be crucial in how well the system is received. Most Android games are not mapped to controllers and are built for smartphone touch-screens.
The official name for the Mojo handset is the ‘CTRL R’, and it’s another gamepad that uses a layout similar to the Xbox 360. Featuring both Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Smart 4.0 technologies, the controller is also compatible with Android phones. The latter Smart mode improves latency considerably, Verrey claimed.
Alex Verrey, the global PR director for Mad Catz, said that “not all touchscreen games will work”, though assured the company was working on a solution.
Mojo is registered as a standard Android device, meaning that gamers who have already purchased numerous apps on these stores can simply log on with their existing details and re-download those apps without the need for a second purchase.
“Because Mojo runs stock Android, you have day-one access to literally hundreds of thousands of games and applications,” Verrey added.
“We’re going down a very different road to the competition and believe in being open, honest and fair with the consumer. We’re not offering a walled garden with a small selection of a hundred or so games. We’re not forcing gamers to use our controllers if they don’t wish to, we’re not trying to sell services or software, nor are we forcing the gamers into a walled garden. Our commitment to the gamer is simple: We’re going to deliver the most powerful Android based Micro Console on the market when we launch later this year.
“We are totally open. No walled garden, no small selection of games, no subscription fees. We bring the hardware, gamers bring the games. Buy games from where you want, when you want and how you want”.
Mojo will launch “this holiday” but a price hasn’t yet been confirmed.