Are Android Consoles Dead?
Over the past year, we have seen things like the OUYA and the GameStick come and go. Basically nothing new has come out of the GameStick, and the OUYA has seen very limited success as far as games. The only notable ones coming as Towerfall, and the Cave. Now, the OUYA is about a year old, and the Gamestick has basically fallen off the map. In the meantime, a bunch of other Android consoles have sprouted up, like the MOJO, and… No one has cared. This poses the question, is the OUYA, and other Android consoles dead?
A combination of bad messups and subpar games.
The OUYA messed up kinda bad when it first came out. The software was clunky and hard to use. Many times it even defaulted to normal stock Android with no controller support. It was not too great. Until recently actually, the operating system as a whole, was, in my opinion, not very well rounded. The way to go back home and end an application was confusing, and sometimes it was not even the same across games. The experience as a whole was soured mainly by the unfinished software. Obviously, with Android, the hardware is there. The mobile GPU or Graphics Processor that is present in our phones and tablets is incredible. Mobile GPU’s are now capable of running nearly console quality games. We have games that prove that, with the likes of Riptide GP2, and even Asphalt to show the power of mobile. The problem with this is that these impressive mobile games are built for the everyday smartphone. It is built for you to use with a touchscreen. These well founded developers who make mobile games have been very slow to adopt the controller moving into the smartphone realm. This creates a new problem for Android consoles. They are Android… But not really.
Some game systems go full Android, other.. Not so much..
Every other week, when a new Android console comes out, the question is whether it has Google Play on it, or does it go with its own ecosystem. Consoles like the OUYA created their own ecosystem. And that is where the problem begins. They start out with no games whatsoever. They have absolutely nothing to offer. Likewise, OUYA did not have much funding, and no one knew how it would sell. They had nothing to offer would be developers, and this led to only a couple indie people taking the risk. Now, there are still not any must, must have games available. For any of the Android consoles. This is the most important thing for a console, you have to have games for it!
Now are they dead? I would say that most of them are. A lot of them are dead out of water. In other words, I do not think an Android console coming out soon that will sell well. Will the ones that are already out, like the OUYA and MOJO, sell well? The OUYA has definitely found its niche.. In a way. Is the niche large enough to justify the console still survive? Maybe not. I guess we will see by the end of the year, and whether there is a successor to either of these consoles. As for me, I am not too sure on the future of Android consoles, but I would not suggest you drop your job and try to make your own, OUYA kickstarter style.