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Company Turns Your Android Smartphone Into a Game Console

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the talk-and-play dept.

Handhelds 126

MojoKid writes "The time we spend making calls on smartphones pales in comparison to the other activities we use it for, like surfing the web, logging into Facebook, streaming music and video, and of course playing games. It's that latter functionality that a startup called Green Throttle wants to tap into, and given the horsepower of today's smartphones, it makes a lot of sense. The company envisions harnessing the power of today's well-equipped Android smartphones and tablets in order to play console-like games on your HDTV. Right now the concept is limited to select devices — Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S II and S III, HTC One X, Kindle Fire HD, and Asus Transformer — though the company says it's adding to the list quickly. The system is fairly simple. You load Green Throttle's Arena app on your compatible device and start gaming using the company's Bluetooth-enabled Atlas controller, which looks a lot like an Xbox 360 controller, then push your phone's HDMI output to an HDTV."

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What is the point? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213345)

I can already connect my phone to a TV with HDMI and pair a bluetooth game controller with it. How is this special?

Re:What is the point? (2)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213451)

slashvertisement?
Seriously this system brings ZERO advantages to the Android gaming environment. It's not a Steam/PSN/XboxLive like service that brings online features and shopping interfaces tunned up for gamers. Bluetooth controllers are already usable with Android. There are even bluetooth controllers that can emulate touch screen gestures for button incompatible games. And every single decent phone/tablet already has HDMI outputs.

Re:What is the point? (4, Informative)

CodeheadUK (2717911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213517)

Plus, with OUYA just around the corner, there will be no need to fry your phone's GPU and wring out the battery in an hour. There's a cheap box designed for the purpose.

Re:What is the point? (1)

randomErr (172078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214271)

Or go on eBay [ebay.com] and get one of these Chinese Android devices and get an XBox game controller for the cost of one or two of their controllers. With one of these or the Ouya you don't have to tie up your cell phone or tablet.

Re:What is the point? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214873)

An Xbox controller likely won't work. (They're not Bluetooth. Has anyone written a driver to use the USB ones?)

A Playstation 3 controller, however, will work just fine. In fact some Android games (like Grand Theft Auto III) natively support the PS3 controller, even handling the pairing for you.

Re:What is the point? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214971)

Interesting, I thought they required the USB connection to pair.

Re:What is the point? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215065)

A PS3 controller is $40, which is more than half the price of buying those Android dongles you hook up to the TV. So while it would work, it gets quite expensive. For an android dongle and a PS3 controller, you could pay $120. Or you could just spend the extra $30 and get an xBox 360 for $150 [walmart.com]

Re:What is the point? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215211)

What 'android dongle to hook up to the TV'?

I spent like $4 on a micro-HDMI to HDMI cable.

And GameStop has third-party PS3 controllers for under $30.

Though really, a lot of people interested in using a PS3 controller with an Android device probably already have a PS3 controller.

Re:What is the point? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218049)

Galaxy S3 is a bit more complicated and expensive due to its 11-pin semi(?)-proprietary MHL connectors ("SaMHL"). The cheapest 11-pin SaMHL cable I'm aware of is ~$15, and the word at XDA is that it's totally luck of the draw... about half work fine, and half fall somewhere between "occasionally-flaky" and "just plain doesn't work". The cheapest cables known to work at least as reliably as Samsung's official ones start at around $25-30.

Yes, you can spend a few bucks on an 11-pin to 5-pin MHL adapter and use a cheap generic 5-pin MHL cable with reasonable success, but THEN you're putting a HUGE amount of lever-induced stress on the S3's USB port, and just begging for a cracked mainboard or weakened solder joint. Upgrade the adapter to one with at least an inch or two of flexible cable between the plug and the socket, and you're back up into the $25+ range and might as well get a good non-Samsung cable made for 11-pin SaMHL from the start.

The situation will obviously improve in a year or two since all Samsung phones (and probably others) will be using 11-pin MHL going forward... but right now, there's still a 100% or more price premium for S3-compatible MHL cables.

Xbox 360 controllers on my Nexus 7 (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215141)

Xbox 360 wired controllers appear to work out of the box through a USB OTG adapter on my Nexus 7 tablet. But the directional pad on an Xbox 360 controller is far from the best, which makes it harder to play NES games like Streemerz on it compared to, say, an N64 controller through an Adaptoid.

Re:What is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215015)

It's cute because you think the Ouya is actually a product that's going to release.

Re:What is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215353)

They're shipping in 3 weeks.

Remember the Pandora and the nD? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215461)

BasilBrush is probably going to chime in and ask for evidence that the company will be able to fulfill its promise to start shipping in 3 weeks rather than disappointing purchasers like OpenPandora did. And the nD didn't end up making its "before Wii U" deadline either.

obligatory xkcd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213573)

Re:What is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213793)

Up to 4 players on a single device.

Same-screen multiplayer is dying like *BSD (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215203)

CronoCloud confirms it: Same-screen multiplayer is dying. It was fine back when video games were thought of as something for kids, and kids would make play dates after school. But grown-up gamers tend not to have time to visit each other for play dates or even to synchronize their schedules for friend matches. So they depend on games that support online play with pick-up groups of strangers. But I'd love to hear your counterarguments to his position.

Re:Same-screen multiplayer is dying like *BSD (1)

CodeheadUK (2717911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216015)

Shame, I enjoyed playing through the Baulder's Gate:Dark Alliance games with my wife and I'm currently playing through Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 with my son.

Not all 'grown-up' gamers are solitary types. Some are lucky enough to have other gamers in the house. The demise of same screen co-op means that each player needs their own system. Crackdown 2, I'm looking at you.

Re:What is the point? (1)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213975)

Well, I can see your point but by making it a product with visibility and all that, people are more inclined to standardize on a particular way of doing things.

I would like it if EVERY game would recognize bluetooth controller inputs and all that. They don't. That needs to change.

Now for something completely off topic.

Yesterday I learned an embarassing and unhappy thing about iPhone, iPod and probably iPad too. Where bluetooth is concerned, they only want to connect to audio devices and other iPods. I wanted to connect my boss's iPhone to his car using a bluetooth OBD2 device. Turns out Apple has placed a serious limit on what you can connect to via bluetooth.

I'm not an iPhone user and never planned on it. But learning this detail embarassed me because I was extremely sure it was possible. Well it is... you have to root/jailbreak your iphone to do it. Why is Apple doing this to its customers? [Rhetorical]

Okay, back to controllers. I have seen where people are using PS3 game controllers with android. I wanna do that too. Someone even made a clever mounting device to connect between a phone and a controller to make them like one, handheld device. I totally want that.

Problem is not all the games play this way. That is something which is missing.

I don't care where I get a BT controller. I'm okay with XBox style or PS3 style or even classic Nintendo style. (Not Gangnam style though) Just standardize. And I think [read hope] that's what they are trying to make happen.

I don't know about this TV connecting thing though... never tried it.

Re:What is the point? (1)

EdZ (755139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214125)

Well, I can see your point but by making it a product with visibility and all that, people are more inclined to standardize on a particular way of doing things.

There already is a standard way of doing things, and it's built into Android! Introducing an additional way to connect a bluetooth controller to an Android phone only means a game now has to support two bluetooth controller APIs, rather than one. A total waste of time and effort.

Re:What is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214051)

and the impulse controller, at least it is small enough to take with you everywhere

Re:What is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215185)

Not to mention the OnLive android app.

Re:What is the point? (1)

kurkosdr (2378710) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215213)

"I can already connect my phone to a TV with HDMI and pair a bluetooth game controller with it. How is this special?" Maybe if they promote it right, it will bring games that will be able to actually use the bluetooth controller. As of now, I haven't found any controller that is supported by most Android games.

Standard layout perhaps? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215241)

How is this special?

As I understand it, Bluetooth game controllers are like USB game controllers [pineight.com] in that each has a different button layout. If developers standardize on one button layout, it'll make it easier to start to play each game because the user can just install an app, start it, and play. Otherwise, the user has to go through a setup phase for each game: this button is jump, this button is fire, do you want movement on the primary analog stick or the primary POV hat, etc.

Re:Standard layout perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42217205)

I prefer to set up my own buttons so that they are consistent. That applies to any game, whether it be on a phone, console or a PC. It would really suck for developers to start setting up button configs that can't be customized or that only have a few poor layouts like most console games.

And this is different ... ??? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213351)

And this is different from connecting PS3 or Xbox Bluetooth controller to your phone HOW ?
 

Re:And this is different ... ??? (2)

kav2k (1545689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213389)

Using an original Xbox / PS3 controller requires rooted device, last time I heard.
However, there are already controllers that can be used with Android without rooting, so this is not new.

PS3 controllers don't require root. (3, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214341)

Using an original Xbox / PS3 controller requires rooted device, last time I heard.

I dunno about Xbox controllers, but my Transformer Prime supports PS3 controllers out of the box, stock, no rooting. Just plug in via USB cable once, turn on Bluetooth, and you're set.

That's why this "Arena" thing seems so pointless. I've already done this. Hooked my Transformer up to the TV, and played Max Payne and Shadowgun with a PS3 controller. I don't see the value-add.

Games compatibility? (1)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213359)

How many games support it? Unless it has wide support it's just not worth it.

Re:Games compatibility? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214419)

It doesn't matter how many support it. Let's say 1000 do, well you certainly aren't going to play all 1000, just the ones that peak your interest. And within those thousand or so, I'm sure you will find three or four that keep you plenty busy while you wait for more.

Same thing with Linux, (of course Android is Linux to an extent) there are enough games to start your collection while more come later. Games are not a big deal anymore. I play two on Xubuntu: RC Mini Racers and Torchlight, MORE than enough to play while I wait. I have more here, but as per my point, I'm busy with those two.

Genre support (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215327)

It doesn't matter how many support it.

If only 12 notable* games end up supporting it, and none are in my top 3 genres, it's not very useful to me. I'm not a big fan of JRPGs or violent first-person shooters, for example.

* Here I define a notable game as one that has been reviewed by reliable publications.

Re:Games compatibility? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214643)

This is one thing android badly needs. A standardized joystick/controller API.

The game does not need to know what kind of controller I have just that I pressed stick one forward and depressed button seven.

What does button seven do? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215283)

The game does not need to know what kind of controller I have just that I pressed stick one forward and depressed button seven.

Is button seven jump, or fire, or lean left, or pause? If Bluetooth controllers are anything like USB controllers, each one will have a different layout of the button numbers [pineight.com] . Among my sample set, button seven is either the Select button or one of the left shoulder buttons, depending on what brand of controller is plugged in.

Re:What does button seven do? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216773)

The game can have a simple config at start. Like PC games often handle it.

Patience for a simple config at start (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218021)

PC games are configured out of the box to use a mouse and keyboard, and mobile games are configured out of the app store to use a flat sheet of glass. I've considered popping up a window to perform "a simple config at start" if the number of axes, buttons, and hats on controller 1 differs from what was present the last time the game was run, but other Slashdot users have told me that PC and Android users lack the patience to do this, especially non-geeks outside Slashdot's core demographic. (Remember "calibration" during the MS-DOS era?) Thus major-label games in genres that could benefit most from "a simple config at start", such as Mortal Kombat (2011), just tend not to get ported to PC or Android at all.

"Sorry mom, can't talk" (4, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213363)

*BOOM* AAAAH!
"Sorry mom, can't talk I --"
HEADSHOT
"-- got to finish this level I'll call you back"
ULTRAKILL!

False Premise (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213445)

The time we spend making calls on smartphones pales in comparison to the other activities we use it for

Speak for yourself, dickhead.

like surfing the web

Painful, at best.

logging into Facebook

Hell No.

streaming music and video

With today's data plans? Don't make me laugh.

and of course playing games

Well ya, like Tetris.

play console-like games on your HDTV

Wait, now I have to carry around my 46" HDTV? Fuck that shit.

Re:False Premise (0, Offtopic)

Whiteox (919863) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213509)

I know he's an AC, but mod this guy up pls.

Re:False Premise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214061)

I know he's an AC, but mod this guy up pls.

And why in the fuck would I mod someone up who clearly doesn't even own a smartphone?

Perhaps if he used his fucking head, he would realize that all those bullshit features exist on damn near every smartphone today for one reason; demand.

Speak for yourself AC. Clearly you are alone in your unconnected, encrypted private world that is irrelevant to the other billion people using smartphones in the manner you say they are not.

Re:False Premise (1)

smash (1351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213877)

Stuck in the 1990s are we?

Re:False Premise - anger issues? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214071)

Dang, my Hate-Troll-o-Meter just bounced off the redline limit. Deep breaths, K?

Re:False Premise (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214457)

What sort of terrible smart phone do you have that sucks at web browsing?

If you are close enough to an HDTV for this to be useful you would be on wifi, not on 3G/4G. So data plan is of no concern.

Tetris is available, but so are games that are PS1 and PS2 level quality. In fact many PS2 games have been ported to modern smartphones.

Re:False Premise (1)

MacBurn11 (2430370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214781)

Could you please name a few, because apart from the games in the humble bundles, I haven't found that many. The only good one that wasn't some kind of minigame like angry birds is a really nice pinball game (Zen Pinball HD).

Re:False Premise (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214893)

GTA3, Vice City, Demolition, Mass Effect infiltrator, The Dark Knight Returns, F18 Carrier ,Air Navy Fighters, Nova, Spectral Souls, General, Carmageddon(ios only so far, but android is scheduled for Q12013).

These are all PS1 to PS2 level of graphics. There are also PS1 emulators. PS2 emulation will take another few years, as ARM cpus just are not up to that task. Even old Core 2s really don't do that, and ARM is nowhere near that level of performance.

Re:False Premise (1)

MacBurn11 (2430370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215479)

Thx for the list. GTA sounds good, I think i will give it a try.

There is also a SimCity title available for Android, but sadly it was extremly unstable on my tablet, so i had to use the refund option in the google store. Hopefully those other titles will be of a better quality.

Emulators actually provide some of the best games I've played on my tablet so far, old adventures in ScummVM with touch controls are really awesome. Haven't tried the PS1 emulators, those could be quite good, too.

I don't think PS2 emulators will be viable in the forseeable future, since even my overclocked i5 750 desktop CPU isn't able to render Tekken or God of War at a playable framerate, no matter what settings or plugins I use. From what I've heard, even Sony is not capable of producing a decent software emulation of the PS2 in their PS3s.

Anyway, I think at the moment there are just not enough high quality games available to make using and Android phone as a console attractive. Your list, while helpful, is relatively short, and I suspect one could only target a niche market with the emulators. I guess in the end, it will all come down to the price. If it costs more than, say, 50 bucks, I don't think this will find a large audience. Or maybe that could bundle the app+controller with phones and cellphone plans...

Re:False Premise (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214955)

The Bard's Tale (actually, I think that's a port from the PC version - it has higher-res textures than the PS2 version.)

Grand Theft Auto III (same deal - looks a little sharper than the PS2 version though it has draw distance issues.)

Shadowgun THD and Mass Effect: Infiltrator both look great and play well.

Square-Enix has been rereleasing the Playstation upgraded ports of Final Fantasy games for Android. They don't push the hardware much, of course, but they're 'PS1 quality'.

And I had a really fun 'attack the castles' game I forget the name of. (I don't have my tablet handy.) Siegecraft HD, maybe? I remember it had standard and Tegra-optimized versions for sale.

Re:False Premise (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215053)

Damn, I meant to mention "The Bard's Tale" that game was great. I might have to get it myself soon.

Re:False Premise (1)

MacBurn11 (2430370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215541)

Hm, I played a demo of The Bard's Tale once and really liked it, but somehow I never got around to buy it. Maybe this is the time to finally get it. Thanks for the tip!

Re:False Premise (1)

Yosho (135835) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215085)

In addition to what other people have said, Square-Enix has made mobile versions of several of their games, including Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy III, Chrono Trigger, and they've produced some original games for Android, like Chaos Rings and Crystal Defenders.

Re:False Premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214831)

What sort of terrible smart phone do you have that sucks at web browsing?

Any Android phone before 4.0 frankly :(

Re:False Premise (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214963)

I disagree. My D1 was great for web browsing. It will probably be even better when I finally get 4.0 booting on it though.

Troll harder.

Re:False Premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215073)

I dunno what kind of PS1/PS2 games you were playing, but they certainly were a lot less in depth than the ones I was playing. Sadly the games on Android generally lack depth, with a few exceptions, but I tend to find the more detailed games are sorta you-get-what-you-pay-for. Having said that, 90% of my gaming time these days is on my phone, but it's mostly because I don't have much time for anything more serious. Time wasters at best.

Caps on satellite and cellular home Internet (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215501)

If you are close enough to an HDTV for this to be useful you would be on wifi, not on 3G/4G

Unless your home Internet is through a MiFi or similar device or through a satellite dish because you can't get DSL or cable where you live. MiFi and similar have 5 GB per month caps, and satellite only recently raised its cap on entry-level plans to 10 GB per month.

Re:Caps on satellite and cellular home Internet (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216787)

I would never live in such a place.
I in fact required FIOS availability when I bought a house.

Re:Caps on satellite and cellular home Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42217325)

The vanishingly tiny minority that has that kind of problem is of no concern. Do you just respond to everything you see in an attempt to argue, no matter how inconsequential or tenuous your barrel bottom response might be? It certainly seems that way.

Whose responsibility is it? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217785)

For each of these edge cases, I'm trying to determine whose responsibility it ought to be to make sure that a customer is served. Either customers are expected to leave behind their livelihoods and move to a place already served by a provider, or providers are expected to invest in their infrastructure to serve more customers. For example, a solution that requires customers to move to another country is usually not feasible. So to what extent are rural markets without DSL availability a "vanishingly tiny minority"?

Re:False Premise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214867)

The time we spend making calls on smartphones pales in comparison to the other activities we use it for

Speak for yourself, dickhead.

Take your own advice, dickhead.

like surfing the web

Painful, at best.

If you live in the 3rd world maybe.

logging into Facebook

Hell No.

Why not?

streaming music and video

With today's data plans? Don't make me laugh.

Sprint 4g/3g unlimited and wifi. Your own damn fault for not doing any research, idiot.

and of course playing games

Well ya, like Tetris.

Final Fantasy III, Plants vs Zombies, NOVA II, etc. Oh and yeah tetris on my Gameboy Color emulator.

play console-like games on your HDTV

Wait, now I have to carry around my 46" HDTV? Fuck that shit.

Ye of little vision, they mean when you're home asshat.

Re:False Premise (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215417)

Ye of little vision, they mean when you're home asshat.

When you're home you have the big home theater PC for playing the many controller-optimized Steam games.

I tried Tetris for iPhone and didn't like it (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215367)

and of course playing games

Well ya, like Tetris.

I tried playing Tetris on an iPhone and I could never get the hang of the control scheme that EA adopted. I couldn't place the pieces nearly as quickly as I could on the DS version. I guess falling block games are one of those genres that really needs a gamepad, but I don't know whether EA plans to support gamepads in a future version of Tetris.

Re:False Premise (1)

mjworthey (1196249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216331)

You must have a Blackberry.

OUYA (5, Informative)

darkain (749283) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213461)

$45 for this "Single Controller Pack", or $99 for a dedicated OUYA game console with controller, also runs android, doesn't have to worry about the game being interrupted by a phone call, no worries about frame rate drops due to various background services running, and already has dedicated third party developers (rather than a "developer program"). Yeah, sorry guys, the other team already has my money!

http://www.ouya.tv/ [www.ouya.tv]

Re:OUYA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213513)

From the OUYA site:

"Plus, every game is free — well, free-to-play. We borrowed the free-to-play model from popular games like League of Legends, Team Fortress 2, Triple Town and many others. Developers can offer a free demo with a full-game upgrade, in-game items or powers, or ask you to subscribe. We don’t want you to buy a game unless you love it."

So... every game will be a demo that's misleadingly called free, and will proceed to nickel-and-dime me to death once I'm hooked on playing it because that's the institutionalized business model? And all this to get graphics that aren't quite as good as my seven year old Xbox 360?

No thanks. I'll stick with a dedicated console that was designed from day one to be a dedicated console, with occasional kill-some-time gaming on a mobile device when I'm away from home, and have no interest at all in using a dedicated device running outdated hardware on an operating system chosen solely because it was free so I can place the developer's hand right into my wallet.

OUYA is a non-event too.

Re:OUYA (2)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213671)

Every game must have a playable demo, at least; it doesn't have to follow the in-game payment model. And it's no slouch in graphics - see a Tegra 3 showcase [youtube.com] . That's not bad for a system set to cost half as much as the X360. But a major difference is that the Ouya will be hackable, legally and without fear of bricking.

Re:OUYA (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215247)

This is my exact problem with the Android App ecosystem. Too much free stuff that tries to pry money out of you in other ways. Games that are impossibly difficult unless you pay to unlock special powers. Games that give you bonus items for giving them a 5 star rating. Games that spend more time displaying ads then letting you play. You can get an XBox 360 for $150. Why would I want to spend $99 on an Android based console? Plus the XBox 360 has been out for a while, and there are a ton of games you can get for cheap.

Nintendo hard (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216255)

Games that are impossibly difficult unless you pay to unlock special powers.

Impossibly? In the NES era, you had to pay for Contra and Battletoads, and then you had to pay extra for Game Genie. There's a reason that above-average difficulty is called Nintendo hard [tvtropes.org] .

Re:Nintendo hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42217909)

I don't disagree with your point, but Contra is most definitely not an example of "Nintendo Hard", especially with the Konami Code. How about we pretend you said "Ninja Gaiden" instead?

Konami code before GameFAQs (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42218141)

Contra is most definitely not an example of "Nintendo Hard", especially with the Konami Code.

Good point. You had to pay for Contra or Gradius, and then you had to pay extra for the book that had all the keypress cheat codes in it. There wasn't GameFAQs back then to look up UUDDLRLRBA.

Re:Nintendo hard (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | about a year and a half ago | (#42217933)

Battletoads, sure, but I beat Super C (about as hard as Contra, which I didn't play) without dying when I was around eight years old. No game genie or Konami code required. :b

Re:OUYA (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213677)

Or €150 for an Archos Gamepad, a pretty high-end 7" Android 4.1 tablet with game buttons - easily mappable for the tons of older games that lack button support. I couldn't really justify getting either a new handheld console or a tablet, but this is both, and it's cheaper than a Vita, so it's quite enticing. I'll keep an eye on this.

http://www.archos.com/ [archos.com]

Re:OUYA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213911)

It's archos though, so it will be shit. You have been warned.

Signed,
Someone who should have heeded the warning

Re:OUYA (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215551)

Or €150 for an Archos Gamepad

Which launches "in early Q1 2013" with support for Google Play Store [tomshardware.com] .

easily mappable for the tons of older games that lack button support.

But how much time are people willing to spend mapping as opposed to playing? I'm told they're already turned off by the plethora of layouts of non-Xbox 360 controllers on the PC [pineight.com] .

Re:OUYA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214109)

Umm... no, the smartphone team already has your money. You just gave more money to an undeveloped platform; that is unless you don't already own a smartphone?

Re:OUYA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42214511)

Right, there's no need for two companies to produce similar products. Why have competition when you can just be stuck with one company?

Woah, back up... (5, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213501)

Phones are computers now?

Re:Woah, back up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215743)

No. Computers are small and have cellular radios now. There is a difference.

Bluetooth is a standard (4, Informative)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213507)

Many Android games have native Bluetooth game-pad support, for though that don't you can use something like: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fishstix.gameboard [google.com]

You can already get hundreds of far cheaper Bluetooth game-pads, many designed to also mount your phone.

A little late. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213531)

This company will likely fail because Droid already Does, and on more platforms than are listed in the article.
But they can try if they want to!

What Android phones with gaming buttons (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215645)

This company will likely fail because Droid already Does

Since when has a Android phone made by Motorola (or any other Android phone manufacturer licensing the Droid brand from a Disney subsidiary) had gaming buttons? The only Android phone I can think of with a built-in gamepad was the Xperia Play, and I don't think Sony ever called its Android phones "Droid".

I went and RTFA (1)

Whiteox (919863) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213545)

Seems stupid, but I decided to read it.

Adding [the Atlas] controllers to the mobile version of ChronoBlade allows users to experience the game the way it was meant to be played; bringing a true console-like proposition," said Taehoon Kim, co-found and CEO at nWay.

So methinks that this is a way of connecting a game controller to a phone and play the phone's mobile versions of games: Angry Birds would be a good game for it, that sort of thing. The HDMI thing is a bonus.

(Ahhhh... The pain!)

Re:I went and RTFA (5, Insightful)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213571)

The "way of connecting a game control to a phone" is called Bluetooth. Your phone has is.

The HDMI thing isn't a "bonus" -- it's a feature of your phone. And if it's not a feature of your phone, this device isn't going to magically give you it.

This is "stone soup" sales tactics. Sell you something "magic" that lets you do wonderful things... because you don't know you can already do them....

Re:I went and RTFA (1)

Whiteox (919863) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213885)

As I'm not a phone game player, I never saw the need for a game control to move a little mario on a phone. I think you think I meant bluetooth, but no. I mean connecting a game controller and have the requisite i/o from the game itself.
You don't need HDMI, - that's just a bonus ~ you can control the game with a proper controller instead of mashing your firngers on the phone's screen.

Re:I went and RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42215045)

You can already connect a Bluetooth gamepad to your Android phone and have the gamepad control the game on your phone. The APIs for this have existed since Android Gingerbread and have been widely implemented in most game apps (or at least the ones where a gamepad would be appropriate).

Nexus 7 (1)

phorm (591458) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216887)

Right now the concept is limited to select devices -- Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S II and S III, HTC One X, Kindle Fire HD, and Asus Transformer

Indeed, and unless the latest model is different, the Nexus 7 does *not* have an HDMI out. So the above statement doesn't even apply to the whole Nexus lineup.

OR, just plug your PC to your TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213681)

I'm pretty sure that most people here already have such a setup or use their computer for TV purposes these days. Seriously, this article has slashvertisement written all over it. If you want something that was a game changer, we can talk about a certain bankrupt company that was ahead of its time.

Most non-geeks won't do that though (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215717)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

I'm pretty sure that most people here already have such a setup or use their computer for TV purposes these days.

CronoCloud and others would wholeheartedly disagree with you. Most people don't connect a PC to a TV [slashdot.org] , apart from the geek demographic [slashdot.org] overrepresented among Slashdot regulars. Non-geeks would have a lot more trouble [slashdot.org] figuring out [slashdot.org] how to connect a PC to a TV [pineight.com] .

Concentrate on Multiplayer (1)

Jonah Hex (651948) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213769)

The only real improvement I can think of is allowing ad-hoc LAN/console party style gaming, and I am struggling to think of how narrow a niche people using their phones (as opposed to more established LAN/console party equipment) would be for that application. Frankly I'm more excited for the futer of augmented reality games on phones, especially multiplayer ones. I also echo most of the above, this exists already even on Android and dedicated Android consoles are coming. - HEX

Re:Concentrate on Multiplayer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42213859)

damn my tired fingers, I meant future of courzZzZz - HEX

Barrier to entry (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215745)

I am struggling to think of how narrow a niche people using their phones (as opposed to more established LAN/console party equipment) would be for that application.

For one thing, it's a lot easier for a startup developer to get into Google's developer program than into Sony's or Nintendo's. Sony and Nintendo want experience and financial stability first, which pretty much rules out releasing your company's first few products on their platforms. (See Bob's Game for example.)

Looks neat. ... Should team up with Ouya maybe ... (1)

Qbertino (265505) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213777)

I've had this sort of idea quite a few times. A few simple multiplayer games and a batch of cheap zero-fuss compatible controllers. The Android devices are open and widespread enough to make this sort of thing commercially viable. And these guys have on litte edge over the Ouya: They're focusing on their own set of launch games built around console multiplayer. Wouldn't if be cool if you could play their games on the Ouya using their controllers? Their controllers look more complex and seem to cater more to the hardcore console gaming community, but this is tres cool none-the-less.

I like they way things are heading with this new Android console gaming craze. ... Having been in the gaming industry myseld in the past, I'm seriously thinking about maybe developing a title for this approaching market.

My 2 cents.

Every one is targetting future of games market (1)

claudiajay (2790213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213867)

According to a reliable source that games market is take over the main stream in near future!! watches online [slashdot.org]

Re:Every one is targetting future of games market (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214347)

Even spam made to be relevant can't publish a URL that works for it.

Seriously, programming is going really downhill lately. It reminds me of the spammers who keep emailing made-up-hex-code addresses at my domain, and addresses that literally existed for minutes decades ago and have been 554'd by SMTP ever since.

Just what exactly do they think they've gained?

Been done already (1)

smash (1351) | about a year and a half ago | (#42213873)

So, it's like AirPlay then?

Re:Been done already (1)

Swampash (1131503) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214323)

No, it's not like Airplay. Airplay just works. This is Android based, so you'll probably have to buy a Nexus Q, then wait for your carrier to allow you to update to a compatible version of Android, then flash your handset and install a custom ROM. But you'll be able to ssh into your game console and run top and kill -9 when a runaway ad-serving process drags your battery life down to 30 minutes, so, like, open.

What BT controller for iPad? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215881)

No, it's not like Airplay. Airplay just works.

For one thing, Airplay costs $428: $329 for the iPad mini and $99 for the Apple TV. Even assuming someone already owns a smartphone or tablet, an HDMI cable from Monoprice is far cheaper than an Apple TV. For another, what Bluetooth controllers work with Airplay for more than one player?

Slight problem with this idea (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214243)

I have a HTC One X and the MHL cable to connect to a HDTV and there is a slight problem with this idea. You have to look at the phone to see where the controls are and when you look at the phone you aren't looking at the big screen. I imagine there are solutions out there and I'd love to hear about them if anyone knows any.

Re:Slight problem with this idea (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214663)

Use a controller?

This is really for games that benefit from a controller not ones that benefit from touch.

What games benefit from a controller? (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216001)

People like drinkypoo [slashdot.org] appear to think no games benefit from a controller, and thumb gestures on a flat sheet of glass are more flexible than physical buttons. I have my own counterarguments [pineight.com] , but I'd like to hear others.

Re:Slight problem with this idea (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215739)

...well, you could buy the controller from these guys. or use any ps3 controller or other bt controller.

because with your scenario, you're really just hooking it to your hdmi and not reading the article blurb even.

Why (1)

Dunge (922521) | about a year and a half ago | (#42214767)

Why would I want to use my phone as a console when I already have a PC and a console with much more processing power and tenfold better games?

PC screen size and console genetic fallacy (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year and a half ago | (#42216033)

Why would I want to use my phone as a console when I already have a PC and a console with much more processing power and tenfold better games?

For one thing, there are games you can't get on a console because they're made by startups, not established companies. Nor, I'm told, are most people willing to buy a second PC to put in the living room in order to play games on the big screen. That leaves mobile.

OMG (1)

kenh (9056) | about a year and a half ago | (#42215183)

Now I can play games on my smartphone!? That'sd freaking AWESOME!

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