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Google Developing Android Game Console

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the with-thanks-to-ouya-for-doing-the-proof-of-concept dept.

Android 143

An anonymous reader writes "A report by the Wall Street Journal says Google is working on an Android-based gaming console in addition to the long-rumored smartwatch. 'The hardware plans are the latest sign of Google's determination to build on the success of Android, the software it launched in 2008 that powered 75% of all smartphones and 57% of tablets shipped globally in the first quarter, according to the research firm IDC. ... The people briefed on the matter said Google is reacting in part to expectations that rival Apple will launch a videogame console as part of its next Apple TV product release.' This development push comes as the company is wrapping up work on Android 4.3, and as the Kickstarted, Android-based Ouya console is finding success in retail markets. Google is also reportedly working on a revision to its Nexus Q media streaming device, which the company announced last year and quickly shelved after they realized it was a bit weird and not terribly useful."

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Horsepower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131279)

I wonder if it will actually provide some horsepower or if it will be another cased tablet.

Is it called Ouya? (3, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44131313)

Because I could swear I just saw one of these in a Best Buy flyer last weekend

Re:Is it called Ouya? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131353)

Unfortunately the Ouya doesn't use the Play store, so it's already massively failing at Android, and what people would expect. Side loading is possible, but it's a mess and you invariably need dev builds.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44131391)

Of course it doesn't use the Play Store. It's not meant as a general-purpose Android platform (and neither would any Google console). It has to have it's own specialized store. You can't very well have a console loading apps that expect a touch screen, accelerometer, etc. Even if Google let their console use the Play Store, they would have to wall it off into it's own area.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

LiSrt (742904) | about a year ago | (#44131479)

Of course it doesn't use the Play Store. It's not meant as a general-purpose Android platform (and neither would any Google console). It has to have it's own specialized store. You can't very well have a console loading apps that expect a touch screen, accelerometer, etc. Even if Google let their console use the Play Store, they would have to wall it off into it's own area.

I think an accelerometer would be a logical component of a console, in the controllers though.

As for having its own "area" - as long as the app developers are careful about marking what devices the app is compatible with, there shouldn't be any problems.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44131481)

Any modern controller will have a touch screen and an accelerometer.

Far better would simply be a requirement for the game to support controllers. Then people could run those on their phone too provided they had a controller.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (2)

Kleen13 (1006327) | about a year ago | (#44132137)

I would love that, and why not? That's a great idea.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131517)

Umm. No. You don't wall it off, you just mark the appropriate apps "compatible with" like Google Play does with all the other devices it supports.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44131561)

You don't wall it off, you just mark the appropriate apps "compatible with"

Well, I think that's a semantic difference, since either way you're separating console games out from general apps. But the point is that the Ouya has no reason to support the Play Store at this time, since it's incompatible with most of the apps there.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131783)

You don't wall it off, you just mark the appropriate apps "compatible with"

Well, I think that's a semantic difference, since either way you're separating console games out from general apps. But the point is that the Ouya has no reason to support the Play Store at this time, since it's incompatible with most of the apps there.

It's only an issue if they're really incompatible. If your console looks like the Wii U controller, I don't see why anything would have to be incompatible. (Same AC as GP.)

Re:Is it called Ouya? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44132443)

It's only an issue if they're really incompatible. If your console looks like the Wii U controller, I don't see why anything would have to be incompatible. (Same AC as GP.)

Instead of speculating wildly, you could visit the pages on the Ouya SDK, and then you would know that they've created their own custom mechanisms for talking to controllers. This makes Ouya games incompatible with Android in general, and vice versa. Only games which allow remapping controls to arbitrary input events (pet peeve: this should be all games, but it sure isn't) or games written specifically to support Ouya (which is not complicated, I am not much of a programmer and even I understood the examples) will work on Ouya.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

RulerOf (975607) | about a year ago | (#44132545)

they've created their own custom mechanisms for talking to controllers.

I've often wondered about this. A couple years ago, I got in on the first round for the iControlPad. [icontrolpad.com] The device was great in some aspects, and disappointing in many others. In particular, the d-pad is just awful. I blame Nintendo.

Anyway, one of the things I thought was odd was that it isn't, out of the box, a standard bluetooth game pad. It uses bluetooth's serial port profile and communicates that way. It supports showing up as a game pad, a keyboard, and a few other things, but this did puzzle me. I just simply assumed that bluetooth's game pad (HID?) profile is... deficient in some way.

Can you shed any light on this for someone not accustomed to reading SDKs?

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44133001)

I'd guess the reason was flaky or absent support for HID-class gamepads on one or more platforms they wanted to support. It's a lot easier to make a serial driver than a USB driver, so if the USB HID support is busted anyway, I'd go the same route.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#44131707)

So it's impossible to create a single game that works on both Android phones and Android console?

Re:Is it called Ouya? (2)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44132541)

If you create a game that uses iOS 7's new API for MFI controllers, it'll work on an iPhone 4 or iPod touch (fifth generation) with or without AirPlay to an Apple TV. Likewise, if you create an Android game that uses a controller, it can work on an Android phone paired to a Moga controller, on an uncommon handheld Android device with buttons such as Xperia Play, Shield, JXD S5110, Archos GamePad, or on a console such as Ouya or this new Gooya. It's just that most phones aren't sold in a bundle with a controller, and different genres of game work on a multitouch screen compared to a controller. Platformers and fighting games, for example, need a controller, and they can be next to unplayable on a multitouch screen alone.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131715)

The Google Play store already detects your device and filters out incompatible software. Besides if the android emulator can simulate a touch screen with a mouse, the Ouya can simulate one with the joystick.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44131765)

Of course it doesn't use the Play Store. It's not meant as a general-purpose Android platform

it doesn't use the Play Store, but that's not why.

It has to have it's own specialized store.

this begs the question, does it have to have its own specialized store? And the answer, for those who know what they are talking about, is no.

You can't very well have a console loading apps that expect a touch screen, accelerometer, etc.

If Ouya would implement emulation of accelerometer from a joystick, then you certainly could. In fact, you could then use a PS3 Sixaxis controller to play those games, by mapping its accelerometer axes. But, they haven't done this. They should also emulate screen touches from controller presses. There's an app that does this, but it's an obvious thing for an android game console to do out of the box.

Even if Google let their console use the Play Store, they would have to wall it off into it's own area.

Why don't you get some relevant experience before running your suck? The Xperia Play uses the Play Store, and it's a phone from 2011. You just put "optimized for xperia play" (maybe in all caps) into your game description, and it automatically shows up in the list of available Xperia Play software in the special games launcher which appears when you slide out the gamepad. In short, you have no idea what you are talking about, and you are just pulling shit out of your ass and slapping it down on slashdot.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44132633)

" this begs the question, does it have to have its own specialized store? And the answer, for those who know what they are talking about, is no."

Your doing it wrong: http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/begs-the-question.aspx [quickanddirtytips.com]

Xperia Play isn't the only way to say controller (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44132675)

does it have to have its own specialized store? And the answer, for those who know what they are talking about, is no.

So if I have a phone or tablet paired to a Bluetooth controller, and I want to use this phone or tablet to search for games that will be compatible with both the phone or tablet and this new "Gooya", how do I set Google Play Store to narrow the selection to only titles that support controller operation?

You just put "optimized for xperia play" (maybe in all caps) into your game description

Which means the developer would have to buy specifically an Xperia Play to test on, in addition to a Moga, a JXD S5110, an Archos GamePad, etc. so that they can all be included in the description. That's why searching based on the names of devices of similar capability is unsustainable.

Re:Xperia Play isn't the only way to say controlle (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44133157)

So if I have a phone or tablet paired to a Bluetooth controller, and I want to use this phone or tablet to search for games that will be compatible with both the phone or tablet and this new "Gooya", how do I set Google Play Store to narrow the selection to only titles that support controller operation?

The new Google Play store with games support isn't even up yet, and you're asking me questions about how it works? This is a trivial implementation issue, the only question is whether Google will get it right, not whether it is possible. Also, features like checking for hardware features on your device are already in the Play Store.

You just put "optimized for xperia play" (maybe in all caps) into your game description

Which means the developer would have to buy specifically an Xperia Play to test on, in addition to a Moga, a JXD S5110, an Archos GamePad, etc. so that they can all be included in the description. That's why searching based on the names of devices of similar capability is unsustainable.

No it isn't, and no amount of claiming that it is will make it so. The developer can simply not support those platforms if that's what they choose. An Android smartphone developer who really cares if their software will run correctly on various platforms already has to buy all of those devices, which are much more expensive than any Android game console current or projected, and most of which actually cost more than a Shield. In practice, this has not hampered Android development unduly. As it is, if you code to the basic standards then your code will work on most platforms (except Xperia Play or Ouya, of course) and the existing Play store does a fairly good job of not letting people install your software if they lack required features, e.g. an accelerometer. I would hope that when games are tightly integrated into Play that it is capable of determining whether your device has a gamepad. Hopefully, it will detect any bluetooth partnerships with gamepads as well.

What's wrong with you? (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about a year ago | (#44131813)

What's the problem with you guys? Don't you have more than 1 Android device tied to the same Google account (especially an older one, or a tablet)?

The Play Store makes it pretty clear which device(s) on your account will or won't work with the selected software. Just add the console to the list and be done with it.

KISS, man, KISS!

Older tablets without Google Play; narrowing (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44132697)

Don't you have more than 1 Android device tied to the same Google account (especially an older one, or a tablet)?

Tablets didn't start coming with Google Play until Honeycomb. Kindle Fire, Coby Kyros, and older Archos products don't have it, for instance.

The Play Store makes it pretty clear which device(s) on your account will or won't work with the selected software.

But does it allow narrowing the search results to applications compatible with a single device on a given account? If not, the user would have to tap each search result, "no, that isn't compatible", tap another, "no, that isn't compatible either", etc.

Re:Older tablets without Google Play; narrowing (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44133191)

The Play Store makes it pretty clear which device(s) on your account will or won't work with the selected software.

But does it allow narrowing the search results to applications compatible with a single device on a given account?

Just like your other objections in this thread, this is not really a problem. You can immediately tell whether games will operate on your device by browsing the Play Store from the device itself, which is how most users can be expected to behave. It's also a trivial feature to add, and if users ask for it, they probably will.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

wolrahnaes (632574) | about a year ago | (#44131847)

Of course it doesn't use the Play Store. It's not meant as a general-purpose Android platform (and neither would any Google console). It has to have it's own specialized store. You can't very well have a console loading apps that expect a touch screen, accelerometer, etc. Even if Google let their console use the Play Store, they would have to wall it off into it's own area.

It's not like we really need to speculate, they already have had television-optimized Android devices accessing the Play store officially for over a year and a half in the form of Google TV. This works fine because the Play store allows developers to filter device availability based on hardware capabilities. Android apps are assumed to require a touchscreen unless explicitly declared otherwise, so by default an app will not show up on GTV or presumably any future console. If the application's manifest is adjusted to state that it does not require a touchscreen and it has no other hardware dependencies, it'll show up on anything that can access the store.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (3, Insightful)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#44131415)

Unfortunately the Ouya doesn't use the Play store

Hasn't hurt the Kindle Fire.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44131523)

It has prevented me and several other folks from buying them. Might not have hurt it much, but surely there are some lost sales.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

Diss Champ (934796) | about a year ago | (#44131539)

The point of the Kindle line is to make people buy stuff from Amazon. Any sale to someone who won't do that that they avoid is not a "hurt", as they are likely still selling at a loss. Razor & blades model.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#44131581)

It's the best selling after the iPad, so I doubt Amazon are too worried about it.

Re:Is it called Ouya? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#44133045)

Hasn't hurt the Kindle Fire.

It's more of a push; the bigger question is how much the Kindle Fire hurts the Play Store.

More options (3, Interesting)

crashcy (2839507) | about a year ago | (#44131317)

So the Ouya is out, and Apple, Google, and Valve are all working on consoles. I'll be interested in seeing how they develop, but the more competition for Microsoft/Sony, the better for the consumer.

Re:More options (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44131329)

Looks like 2014 is shaping up to be the Year of the Consoles. LOTS of consoles.

Re:More options (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#44131425)

Hopefully not like 1983 [wikipedia.org] .

Problem was cames not Compatible consoles (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44131541)

Hopefully not like 1983 [wikipedia.org] .

The crash was mainly due to the lack of quality games and lots of poor ones, Android/Valve/Apple already have an abundance of successful games already, and all are in control of their shops..so can enforce any kind of quality control.

Re:Problem was cames not Compatible consoles (3, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44131657)

Actually, speaking from my own experience, I can tell you that a lot of gamers at that time had simply abandoned their consoles for Commodore 64's. You could even use the same joystick (beat the hell out of that sorry-ass 5200 controller). Atari had counted on 2600 fans to move on to the 5200. But for the same price, you could just buy a Commodore. And games were a helluva lot cheaper on the Commodore, since it was so easy to pirate them.

Re:Problem was cames not Compatible consoles (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44132775)

But for the same price [as an Atari 5200 console], you could just buy a Commodore.

Including the 1541 disk drive? And how long did it take for games to load on a C64 compared to the second- and third-generation consoles?

Re:More options (1)

Tolkienfanatic (1111661) | about a year ago | (#44131649)

I don't think we're going to see a repeat of the ET situation...

Re:More options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131341)

So long as games are released cross-platform. Otherwise we're screwed with a fragmented market.

Re:More options (2)

crashcy (2839507) | about a year ago | (#44131367)

Agreed. But I think the odds are good that the Ouya, Google console, and Steambox at least should all share a library for the most part. Which could put pressure on the others to join in.

Re:More options (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#44131389)

The way I see it, if I can play the latest and greatest via Steam without having to worry about also using the same PC for web browsing and installing random programs that will just slow it down or make it unstable, that could be my next PC. My current PC would do just fine at being turned into my IRC/Trillian/Media/Web surfing PC.

Re:More options (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44131533)

How does web browsing and installing programs make a computer slow or unstable?

I don't use windows, but is this still the reality windows users face?

Re:More options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44132091)

Not really. Of course any OS will get slower if you start lot of stuff on startup or run more background apps, but modern Windowses don't suffer of much slowdown even after a lot of software has been installed.

Script in minimized tabs; daemons (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44132831)

How does web browsing and installing programs make a computer slow or unstable?

Pages open in a minimized web browser keep running script functions triggered by window.setInterval(). Installed programs want to keep their own update notifiers and other daemons (Winamp Agent, Apple Mobile Device Service, Java Quick Starter, etc.) running in the background.

Re:Script in minimized tabs; daemons (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44133219)

You could close the web browser.

Still not having a centralized update system is a pretty big failing of windows. I am not suggesting a store, but a repository system like that used in linux where I can add the chrome repo instead of having some stupid updater.

Re:More options (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131433)

will home and rate you MOAR!

Re:More options (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#44131747)

So the Ouya is out, and Apple, Google, and Valve are all working on consoles. I'll be interested in seeing how they develop, but the more competition for Microsoft/Sony, the better for the consumer.

Except of course when the game you want is on a different console to the one you own. Dedicated console gamers have bought all three consoles in the past for this reason. Will they fee they have to buy even more now?

Re:More options (1)

crashcy (2839507) | about a year ago | (#44131873)

Nothing you can do about companies using exclusives as an incentive to buy their console. It's up to the consumer to decide if those exclusives are worth the purchase of that console. However, with more consoles, assuming they are successful, it will become less beneficial to the game developers to make their game an exclusive. Not saying there won't be any, but there should be fewer. On the other hand, Valve could just release Half-Life 3 as a Steambox exclusive and destroy all competition.

Re:More options (1)

lordofthechia (598872) | about a year ago | (#44133171)

The best part is the Ouya can work as a thin client for your Steam box. nVidia supports this natively via their Shield device [nvidia.com] and a gtx 650 or higher video card (those video cards have a built in x264 encoder), it's rumored that this functionality will be extended to Tegra 3 devices (which would include the Ouya).

For older video cards (and until nVidia expands the capability), there's Kainy [google.com] . Which will allow you to do the same.

We need one that supports emulators. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131379)

NES, SNES, MAME, Genesis, N64, etc. Then you win.

Re:We need one that supports emulators. (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about a year ago | (#44131403)

You don't read Penny Arcade, do you? [penny-arcade.com] From what I've heard its store has a bunch of emulators on it already.

Re:We need one that supports emulators. (3, Informative)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44131409)

Ouya already has a bunch of emulators. BYOR, though.

Virtual Console (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#44132719)

The Wii from 2006 supports emulating all platforms you mentioned, so long as the game's publisher has rereleased the game through Virtual Console.

Re:We need one that supports emulators. (1)

Mike Frett (2811077) | about a year ago | (#44132723)

Houston, he doesn't read the news!.

News Flash: The Ouya now has several emulators for all your emulating needs. Everything from Mame, PS1, N64 and even those old x86 DOS Games!. So plug in that USB Drive and let's light this fire!.

Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131385)

I mean, this is all based on a lot of assumptions, but Google is planning a console to mirror Apple's plans. Apple is presumably putting together a system that can play iOS games with a better interface (read: games that already exist). Ouya is a system that's designed to play Android games in a better interface. Isn't Google just duplicating what Ouya is doing (though presumably better)? We're not even sure that any of these tablet/smartphone OS consoles have a place in the videogame ecosystem. Seems strange that Google would jump in on this when they've got someone else taking the risks for them to see if this is even worthwhile.

Android Domination (1)

invid (163714) | about a year ago | (#44131429)

By 2020, all operating systems will be Android.

Re: Android Domination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131497)

Thank the gods for companies like Microsoft saving us from such an abysmal monoculture.

This year actually (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44131637)

By 2020, all operating systems will be Android.

Its set to become the dominant Operating system this year. PC's currently have about 1.2 Billion Machines. The last measure I have seen was 750 million devices activated in total and 1.5 million activations and that was Q32012

Re:Android Domination (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131665)

Oh my, I just had a flashback from 2005...

By 2010, all desktops will be Linux.

Somehow I've learned to dismiss this kind of talk. Not only because of my belief that monocultures are plainly bad but also for the reason that Slashdotters vastly overestimate their technology of choice.

It reminds me of when Timothy Leary was running around in the 60s claiming that there was going to be a sweeping change in consciousness because of the drug culture. He thought that there would be a tipping point where everyone gave up on their nasty conservative ideals and would cross over to the hippy movement with open arms. When Clinton was elected a couple of decades later the same people and a bunch of youthful voters also thought that people would suddenly cross over to a great new progressive way of thinking and Clinton would banish so many of the failures of previous administrations such as The War on Drugs and human society would come to a new age of enlightenment. The mythical age of Aquarius would be on us and we'd be liberated from the tyrannies of a heavy handed Western-Christian culture. Turns out that Clinton was just as uptight as the WWII generational that he was replacing or at least just as much a politician. I could bring up Obama but hopefully you're getting the point.

These Great Awakenings just don't happen like that. Technological cultures are no different. As such, Microsoft, Sony and Apple has enough capital to guarantee a generation or two of security. The Great Android revolution will take decades even if Android is all that everyone here makes it out to be. Somehow I doubt that it's going to happen that way at all. My prediction is that if ChromeOS takes off then Google will pull Android in a different direction that will leave a lot of third parties out in the cold. Android's biggest strength was the third party culture while it was building it's foundation but not as much today. Android will become another WinPhone or iOS if that dies or even takes a solid hit. Mind you, it will be more profitable for Google to reign some of that power back in and Google knows it. If the trends at Google over the past couple of years has any bearing on this matter they'll do what's smart for the business. Google has grown up and they'll grow up more if they want to maintain their position in the market. A lot of people are out to pick them apart and Google knows it.

Re:Android Domination (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#44131787)

Android is the Windows of the mobile world. The default OS for people that don't know any better.

Re:Android Domination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44132115)

Android is still quite good OS.

a bit random? (2)

kennethmci (1472923) | about a year ago | (#44131437)

ever get the feeling Google is just throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks? i mean, im not try to suggest their products arent good ( ive got the nexus 10 which is great ) - but they seem to at a stage of being reactive in the industry and if something doesnt make enough of a bang, they can it.

Re:a bit random? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131463)

Here, you dropped these: ' ' ' '

Re:a bit random? (1)

kennethmci (1472923) | about a year ago | (#44131853)

yeah, i also dropped the word "be" too :)

Re:a bit random? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44132151)

You didn't use capital letters to begin sentences, either.

Re:a bit random? (1)

LordNimon (85072) | about a year ago | (#44131477)

ever get the feeling Google is just throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks?

You're only realizing this now??? This is has been Google's M.O. almost since day one!

Re:a bit random? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44131549)

This is pretty much the MO of all successful businesses.

Re:a bit random? (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about a year ago | (#44131487)

When you're sitting on a pile of cash bigger than Kilimanjaro, then you can afford it.

Re:a bit random? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#44131825)

When you're sitting on a pile of cash bigger than Kilimanjaro, then you can afford it.

Is that why their home is called "Mountain View"?

Re: a bit random? (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year ago | (#44131493)

That is part of capitalism. Sometimes you innovate, sometimes you replicate. Companies are driven by profits, not ideals.

Re: a bit random? (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year ago | (#44132707)

Companies are driven by profits

No, this is a very fundemental, yet very common misunderstanding.

Companies are like Soylent Green: they're made of people. As such they are driven by the whims and desires of the people in charge. Clearly they have to make a profit to stay around, but beyond the "enough profit to not be going out of business", companies can happily flop and flail round doing whatever the people making up the company actually do from day to day.

In practice, the rutheless drive for profit does not affect very many of the employees from day to day. And many of the things that companies do are simply whatever someone sufficiently important thinks is a good idea. They might believe or hope that it improves profit, or they may just feel that's the way things "should" be done, or they get on some kind of personal crusade (that is REALLY common) or they are out maximise their personal profit, not the company's.

Even with the best will in the world, there's not enough to try even two variations of anything like working environment.

The end result: companies are driven by random mental ramblings of a few employees.

Re:a bit random? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44131579)

That's what happens when you give your employees one day a week to just work on crazy shit. ;-)

Speculation (3, Insightful)

coinreturn (617535) | about a year ago | (#44131455)

More speculation. When a similar rumor came out about Apple, all the haters here cried about how /. was reporting on imaginary hardware.

Re:Speculation (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44131535)

There are no attributable quotes in the story, said a person familiar with the article. A Wall Street Journal spokesman declined to comment.

Evidence (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44131729)

More speculation. When a similar rumor came out about Apple, all the haters here cried about how /. was reporting on imaginary hardware.

Except it wasn't a similar rumour; it just wasn't a console. http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/12/4421534/ios-7-to-include-standardized-game-controller-support [theverge.com] iOS 7 to include standardized game controller support.

This is about the follow up to the never launched Nexus Q a media hub...which nobody really knew what to do with. Suddenly with Sony & Microsoft both pushing their game consoles as media hubs, and well a number of Android gaming consoles have already launched. I personally own two...OUYA and The PLAY.

Personally I can see the speculation why Google will do a console/media hub...but its nothing to do with Apple

I just came (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131465)

Viva la google!

Android games suck (1)

sylivin (2964093) | about a year ago | (#44131505)

Let's face it, the vast vast vast vaaaaaaaaast majority of games on the android market suck. The ones that don't suck usually are slightly novel and become hugely popular - then rapidly die off within a few months.

There are some "premium" games made by SquareEnix and the like, but I don't see being able to build an ecosystem around just a few vendors. The problem is a large, saturated market full of cheap, crappy, time waster games.

I know we like to make fun of the PS and Xbox game markets, but many of those games really are works of art. They have storylines, art direction, and voice acting. They are designed to be "experienced" in a sitting, whereas the vast majority of Android market games are to be consumed in little sips to kill time.

Of course, Google also has the money and the horsepower to push and help to create a real game ecosystem based around Android. They are going to face a major uphill battle though.

Re:Android games suck (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44131559)

The vast majority of PS and Xbox games are crap, lots of shovelware. So long as the best games can be found from the crap, it works fine.

Android games now are pretty much casual because of the devices they are played on. Once you have a proper console there is no reason more involved games can't be brought over.

Re:Android games suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44132069)

The vast majority of PS and Xbox games are crap, lots of shovelware. So long as the best games can be found from the crap, it works fine.

That didn't work in 1983. I'm sure there were good games amidst the piles of crap back then too.

Ouya (and probably many future Android-based console) boasts that they are open and that almost anyone could make games for it, but one of the factors that led to the crash was that... almost anyone could make games and push their crap onto the market.

Now, Ouya's "must have a demo" policy may mitigate this, but it doesn't mean the risk is gone. It could become a case of "thousands of TV channels but nothing good is on"

And perhaps ironically, if Ouya or any console maker tries to impose too much quality control, they risk becoming no different than the existing big players.

Once you have a proper console there is no reason more involved games can't be brought over.

That's easier said than done. People were also pushing out consoles back in 1983. They couldn't become "proper"

Re:Android games suck (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44132083)

In 1983 finding the good games vs crap was a lot harder than today.

In 1983 it was a lot harder to make a good console.

Re:Android games suck (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about a year ago | (#44131607)

Currently, Android games are written for low-horsepower devices, and yes, most are just distractions while you're waiting for the train. It'd be interesting to see what kind of games people come up with that are written specifically for an Android game console that had enough power (and screen real estate) to get out of its own way.

Low Horsepower...Maybe (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44131837)

A quick look at released Android Console 1.7Ghz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 with GB RAM 8Gb internal Memory and Nvidia Tegra 3. That is not a bad specification.It definitely puts it in this generation of consoles. If Google do come out with a console we are expecting a generation on from this again.

Android also has a massive advantage over the Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo in that the hardware can be updated *every year*, which suits me.

Boycott The Ministry Of State Security (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131575)

The security apparatus wants to build a total-picture file of all your friends and digital relationships, all your text messages. So that they can pull that later, should you ever disagree with one of their evil plans.

Use this to protect yourself:

https://bitbucket.org/hroll/alternative-f-r-unschuldige/src

apple already has a game console (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44131629)

two in fact. they are called the iphone and the ipad. the ipad version has the graphical power of an xbox 360 and some games like real racing take advantage of it.

the Apple TV is a cheapo device to allow you to stream the games to your TV along with some streaming options

Apple is not going to sell a full game console because
1. game consoles have this problem of being locked to a TV. you can't play on the train to work
2. the "real gamer" market is a minority now. there are tens of thousands of iOS games out there. lots of them make more money than the real console games.
3. apple uses the same parts in all products. building a special console means a more powerful chip with a limited manufacturing run. apple is not going to do it
4. a more powerful Apple TV is going to cost more money and sell less units. apple uses flash memory. you can't have a good console with 16GB flash

Those are not game consoles (2, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44131775)

two in fact. they are called the iphone and the ipad.>

I don't disagree with you, you could argue they are full blown computers, TV's...but that would not stop them being relatively tiny compared to a 40" screen with dedicated controllers. I just got my OUYA working...Apple have nothing to compete.

Re:Those are not game consoles (2)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44131831)

apple tv is only $99. if you want to play games on the TV you buy an apple tv and use airplay to stream to your TV. some games are even coded to display data on the iphone or ipad and the picture on the TV like the Wii

the whole idea is that for $499 you get a device you can take anywhere and does gaming, internet, books, movies, tv, music, email and other things. instead of a $399 or $499 console that is locked to the TV

Re:Those are not game consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44131989)

And the best selling game of all time is Windows Solitaire...iOS/Android games are time wasters that you can't really compare to a console game. And certainly there aren't any iPad games with graphics comparable to an AAA XBox360 title.

Re:Those are not game consoles (0)

lexman098 (1983842) | about a year ago | (#44132021)

You didn't even bother to research the OUYA before commenting apparently. Your fanboy is showing.

Let me fill you in: The OUYA is also $99 and utilizes real game controllers. Maybe the iPad could connect with bluetooth to a controller or something, but most if not all of the games are designed for touchscreen controls. I believe this is why OUYA is reportedly not using the Google Play Store. If they did, it would create confusion when it comes to finding games that are optimal for "consoles".

Re: Those are not game consoles (2)

CODiNE (27417) | about a year ago | (#44132223)

I just got my OUYA working...Apple have nothing to compete.

If you had to "get it working" then Apple most certainly can compete with that.

Re:apple already has a game console (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#44131949)

apple uses flash memory. you can't have a good console with 16GB flash

Note that Ouya has 8GB flash and Nvidia Shield has 16GB flash. And Moore's law would indicate that the next Apple TV release would have 32GB flash.

iPhone and iPad are indeed great mobile device platforms. They've already taken that market from Nintendo and Sony. But they can have all the graphical power of a 360, they don't compete against TV and game-controller based consoles. Apple TV could.

I have no doubt at all that the next Apple TV will be capable of running apps. But maybe Apple won't launch it specifically as a console. Releasing public specs for controllers now implies that they aren't going to be doing their own. They're perhaps encouraging 3rd parties to add the missing pieces to make Apple TV into a console, with them only adding an Apple TV SDK and App Store and controller spec to the mix.

Re:apple already has a game console (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about a year ago | (#44132873)

I have no doubt at all that the next Apple TV will be capable of running apps

I'd say if Apple had the choice of selling a twice-as-powerful AppleTV for the same price, or the same AppleTV for $49, they'd do the latter. Let the games be played on other parts of the network, and let the bridge to the TV simply be a dumb box. That way you minimize the Dread Fragmentation by keeping the phone/pad at the center of the ecosystem.

Re:apple already has a game console (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year ago | (#44133175)

There's no technical reason why the Apple TV they are selling now couldn't run apps. All it needs is as SDK for developers and an App Store.

Apps need to be written to work with a TV sized screen and controllers, regardless of whether they actually run on the iPhone or the Apple TV. So whilst it is strictly speaking fragmentation, as it's a different category, rather than just another random variation of a phone, it's not pointless fragmentation.

$99 is already cheap for an Apple Product. Whilst the iPod Shuffle with no screen is $49, it seems like too cheap a price point for a set-top box/app/console.

And what about the wireless controllers? Needing controllers, a phone and an AppleTV all working together to run a game on a TV doesn't seem like the kind of simplicity Apple strives for.

Re:apple already has a game console (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44132787)

the ipad version has the graphical power of an xbox 360 and some games like real racing take advantage of it.

Citation please?
The highest profile game released recently for the iPad was XCom, and the graphics were much crappier than the XBox version.

I don't know the game you're talking about, and there may have been other reasons to drastically lower the quality of the XCom game (targeting older devices perhaps) so I'm not saying you're lying, but your assertion certainly defies belief.

Apple? (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44131677)

For anyone wondering about Apple, most people think it's going to be the Apple TV. Coupled with an iOS 7 update, it will allow wireless controllers.

if its anything like google TV, then eh (1)

tatman (1076111) | about a year ago | (#44131931)

Google blew it with google TV imo. It wasn't usable at all, unless you already had cable or directTV and paid for all of the extra services. I realize a game console is very different in that respect. I'm saying I didn't think google put enough effort into making google TV useful. And I'm concerned they will go the same route with a gaming console....

Ouya has been a disappointment, not in the idea, just not enough support for it to be worth it.

These are all just my opinions obviously

Re:if its anything like google TV, then eh (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44132295)

the real joke with google tv is that they spend quite a lot of buck to customize android for it and yet uncustomized android tv boxes work better for the functionality than google tv does. waste of money.

In your opinion. (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#44132319)

Google blew it with google TV imo.

http://dx.com/c/consumer-electronics-199/hd-media-players-103/android-hd-players-191 [dx.com] This is one Chinese shop. They currently selling 560 Different googleTV devices ranging in price from $35-$200. Just becasue you wasn't interested does not mean everyone else wasn't...I went for a Raspberry Pi with XBMC, but It was a toss up.

The OUYA is great. I have just unpacked mine, and is of surprisingly high quality. The games are fun and cheap. I wouldn't hesitate in suggesting anyone else own one.

Opinions should be formed on experience.

Re:In your opinion. (1)

James Carnley (789899) | about a year ago | (#44133055)

None of the devices on the page you listed run Google TV. None of them.

I'm not sure if you are honestly misinformed about what we're talking about or are just cocksure and arrogant to others while being ignorant yourself.

Re:In your opinion. (1)

BLToday (1777712) | about a year ago | (#44133297)

Those are all Android devices not Google TV devices.

Cloud? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year ago | (#44132199)

I read the article and I'm not seeing "cloud" in it. Something must be missing. Everything new and high-performance uses "the cloud".

/snark

Hmm... (1)

Turmoyl (958221) | about a year ago | (#44132599)

I'm trying to think of a single Android game that I would not only want to see played on a big screen, but that I would pay for the privilege to do so, and I'm coming up empty.
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