Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Mad Catz Throws its Hat into the Console Ring

A post wherein I refuse to use the official term for the console because I think it's dumb.

I'll admit that it's not the most substantive story that I'm ever going to run, but this little article on Ars Technica caught my interest while I was looking for something to write about. Mad Catz, which up until this point was a company that made its business in the video game accessory market more than the actual game market itself, may be stepping up to the plate with an Android based console that is to be unveiled at this upcoming E3 (fun fact, it may have actually happened by the time this article goes to air).

This move by Mad Catz, which is going under the title Project M.O.J.O., will mean that there are going to be no less than three Android based consoles on the market once all of them come out. Perhaps the most well known is the Ouya, which, as far as I can tell hasn't really done all that much since it came out, despite the Kickstarter for it going crazy. There's also Shield, which is Nvidia's contender in this market and would seem to be the most powerful but also doubtlessly most expensive option. And now there's this, which is a relative unknown, at least at the moment.

While the details are sparse, it does seem that Mad Catz may be opting for a higher end console, closer to the Shield than the Ouya in terms of design specifications. The fact that it may come with Tegra Zone software on it only furthers the comparisons to Nvidia's product, something that may not end up doing Mad Catz' console any favours in the long run.

Another issue may very well be the company itself. Mad Catz has been in the peripheral game for quite a while, and their products have been considered much the same as many second party affairs: sometimes cost effective, but rarely if ever as reliable and trustworthy as the actual first party devices. Mad Catz will be a name unfamiliar to plenty of people, and may even have negative connotations for others, so a lot of hard work will need to be done to convince people that this console will be quality and not QUALITY.

It will be, if anything, interesting to see if Mad Catz project can actually carve itself out a space to occupy, considering that even consoles that aren't contending with the big three (despite how much Nvidia seems to be deluding itself....) are growing more and more numerous. If it can't offer something that differentiates itself from the other contenders, or do something a lot better or for a lot cheaper, then it might find itself suffering just from being too middle of the road.

Of course, with E3 just around the corner, there will doubtless be a lot of developments. If anything notable does pop up, expect to see it here. Not like I have anything better to do. shrug

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