Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Premium Android Gaming – A Better Choice, Sometimes

The M.O.J.O. and Shield are different animals. Both cost as much as an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but both are capable of graphical fidelity that (nearly) matches those last-gen consoles. These systems also come with larger, more complex and arguably more comfortable controllers, as well as special features that set them apart from the crowd. The M.O.J.O, which is built by popular gaming peripheral maker Mad Catz, is an all-in-one Android media center. In addition to games, the console can handle any media app an Android phone or tablet would normally play, because Mad Catz hasn’t put a lot of effort into creating a customized version of the OS. An essentially default version of Android 4.2.2 is used instead, and apps are obtained through the normal Google Play storefront. Shield, built by Nvidia, is actually a handheld console designed to compete with the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. Relative to those competitors it is astoundingly capable, boasting Android 4.3, a powerful processor, a 5-inch display, an HDMI port for connecting to a larger screen, impressive speakers and up to 64 gigabytes of storage via Micro SD cards. And the Shield has another party trick; PC game streaming. Certain games, when played on a PC equipped with an Nvidia video card, can be streamed over a home network to the Shield. That’s useful if you’d like to play Batman: Arkham City in bed. But should you buy either of these devices instead of an Xbox or PlayStation? Probably not. Most Android devices have a touchscreen, so most games are optimized for touch. Many aren’t designed for a controller at all. This severely limits the titles you can expect to enjoy. A last-gen console will provide a better library of games for the same price and can also serve as a capable media center.

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