“M.O.J.O. is basically a supercharged smart phone with no screen that plugs into your flat screen TV to bring the living room experience to mobile gaming. M.O.J.O. is designed to interact seamlessly with our GameSmart controllers, mice, keyboards and headsets, in fact, the entire eco-system of gaming peripherals.” according to Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz.
Richardson made the above statement at E3 today. Yes, the M.O.J.O. runs on Android, plugs into your TV and it plays games. This is nothing new of course. Both the Ouya and GameStick have similar designs. The Ouya has already shipped to early backers to their Kickstarter project and the GameStick is expected to start shipping to customers by the end of June. And then there are the dozens of different Android TV sticks and set-top boxes that of course do play games among other things although they are not customized game consoles unlike the Ouya and GameStick.
A big difference however is that the Madcatz M.O.J.O will be an open system. Both the Ouya and GameStick have closed systems. You can only buy games and apps for these consoles from their respective online stores. Games from the Google Play or Amazon app stores will not work on these two consoles. In this regard, the M.O.J.O. seems to have more in common with the generic Android TV sticks and set-top boxes than the 2 Android gaming consoles.
The big advantage that Madcatz has is that it is a huge gaming peripheral company. Gamers are familiar with the Madcatz brand for alternative gaming controllers. Madcatz will not be working directly with game developers to support the console but instead support open standards so that the games can easily support the M.O.J.O. and the included game controller. The M.O.J.O. will be shipping with a wireless gamepad that looks very similar to an Xbox 360 controller.
Right now, the support for gamepads on the Android Mini PCs is pretty much a hit or miss. Support depends a lot on the firmware. Like the support for USB webcams, getting a game controller to work is more like witchcraft rather than science. If Madcatz can get most of today’s popular Android games especially those that are using on-screen control buttons, they might just beat out the Ouya and GameStick. With the M.O.J.O. you can pay once and play the same game on your phone and on your big screen TV using a proper game controller.
Nothing has been revealed about the hardware that powers the M.O.J.O. although rumors are that it will be significantly more powerful than the Ouya and GameStick. This might hint at a quad-core processor compared to its dual core powered competitors. Perhaps a Tegra 4 like NVIDIA’s Shield? If Madcatz can bring out a Tegra 4 console at a significantly lower price than the $349 that NVIDIA is asking for the Shield, Madcatz might just have a winner on their hands.