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The Android Microconsole Reference Guide for Game Developers


August 26, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 6 Next
 

Mojo

Official website: madcatz.com/m-o-j-o-android-micro-console/

Background: Mojo is also a small Android box, but there's an important difference between it and other microconsoles: It actually is totally open. Mad Catz says its entry into the sector will be high-spec (possibly Tegra 4-powered), and users will be able to connect directly to Google Play and the Amazon Appstore to purchase games. That means releasing a game on Mojo is as easy releasing a game on an Android mobile app store -- because that's exactly what you're be doing.

Price: TBA

Availability: This holiday

Pros

It's open. Totally open. Unlike the other microconsoles, there really is no gatekeeper.

Connects directly to the biggest app stores. The Mojo connects directly to Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, so in order to develop and release an Android game on Mojo, you just… develop and release an Android game. (Also, if a player buys a game on an Android mobile device, he or she doesn't have to buy it again to play it on Mojo.) Just make sure to add controller support for the best Mojo experience.

It's going to be powerful. Mad Catz has yet to release the specs on the Mojo, but the company has said its line of "GameSmart" products will incorporate Nvidia chips, and that the hardware will be "high-spec." A Tegra 4 would have your most demanding games looking pretty.

Games that are non-controller-compatible are still playable. Even if your game was not made for a traditional game controller, players can plug in a standard mouse, and use that as an input device. (When the Mojo launches, players will be able to control a mouse cursor with the game controller.)

Cons

It's open. Totally open. While wide-open platforms have their benefits, they also inherit all of the problems of an open platform. This is still a Wild West of sorts. Your games can also easily be pirated by people who want that big screen pirated experience out of their mobile games.

Connects directly to the biggest app stores. There are hundreds of thousands of apps on Android. This is a red ocean, and discovery of your game is in large part at the mercy of the storefronts. (As this is open, you will however have the ability to connect to portals like Nvidia’s TegraZone, which curates the games that work best on Tegra-powered devices.)

It's going to be powerful -- and expensive. Mad Catz has yet to release specs for Mojo, but all signs point to an expensive, high-spec piece of hardware. With no revenue split with developers, and no subscription fee for access, there's no way for Mad Catz to subsidize the cost. A high price means the audience might be relatively small. A small install base shouldn't affect developers so much, though, because Google Play and Amazon Appstore reach across all kinds of other Android devices.

Not all games are compatible with the controller. You’ll be able to use the Mojo’s controller to manipulate a cursor that mimics single-touch input, but that’s still not optimal for the majority of Android games.

Getting started on Mojo

Unlike other Android-based consoles, making a game for Mojo isn't similar to making and releasing an Android game -- you will be making and releasing an Android game. Of course, there are already tons of resources for Android developers. You can get started here: http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html

We're waiting on Mad Catz to give us more information about an SDK for the Mojo's controller, the "CTRL^R".

Review process

As this is open Android, you conduct your own QA and review process. You're the one to click publish. After that, your app shows up on storefronts that are accessible straight from the Mojo. Google does have some (very) basic guidelines that it tries to enforce when releasing on Google Play (see them here), as well as best practices (seem them here).

Monetization

Give it away for free, go the advertising route, make it subscription-based do free-to-play with in-app purchases. This is Android, so the choice is yours.

Revenue share

70/30 (Developer/Google Play or Amazon Appstore). Mad Catz doesn’t take a cut.

Specs

The specs are still in flux right now, but Mad Catz has hinted at (subject to change):

(Likely) Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean)-based

At least 16GB of onboard storage

2x USB 2.0 ports

HDMI port

Controller (the "CTRL^R") that supports Bluetooth classic and Smart (4.0)

Mojo will allow for third-party Bluetooth-compatible peripherals


Article Start Previous Page 4 of 6 Next

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