07
Jun
Mad-Catz-Logo

Stop me if you've heard this one before. Mad Catz, purveyor of game controllers and Nintendo cases to rich and poor alike, is preparing yet another Android-powered game console in the vein of OUYA and GameStick. Information on Project M.O.J.O. is buried deep in the company's 2013 fiscal earnings report, with a reveal scheduled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week.

Mad Catz CEO Darren Richardson was quoted in the earnings report:

At next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles we will unveil the keystone product in our GameSmart initiative, Project M.O.J.O., an android micro console configured to harness the maximum gaming horsepower from an android device. The Project M.O.J.O. android micro console is being designed to interact seamlessly with our GameSmart controllers, mice, keyboards and headsets. With our long history in the gaming industry, Mad Catz has the technical capability, product breadth, global distribution, and developer and publisher relationships that uniquely position our company to embark on this ambitious initiative. We believe the GameSmart initiative fits perfectly with our long-term strategy of designing innovative products for passionate gamers and our strategy of expanding into emerging markets.

"GameSmart" is Mad Catz's line of mobile gaming accessories, including an Xbox-style controller, a Bluetooth mouse, and a stylized pair of headphones. They haven't made much of an impact on iOS or Android gaming, because frankly, there's not a lot of touchscreen games that require extra input (and plenty of other alternatives for those that do). Richardson gave no other information about Project M.O.J.O., though it's a pretty safe bet that the "micro console" is similar to existing products. That would include a system-on-a-chip with a relatively small housing, WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, and HDMI-out.

As someone who very literally plays Android games for a living, I have to say, I find it hard to believe that Android gaming as it is now is robust enough to support one console, much less a handful of them. In order to beat OUYA, Mad Catz will have to create a system that solves the problem of touchscreen games on a television (if it doesn't include a screen, anyway), distribution and developer support, and come to wide retail channels at a competitive price. We'll see what they've got in Los Angeles next week.

PHX Corporate - Mad Catz Reports Fiscal 2013 Revenue of $122.7 Million

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Logan

    If there's one thing I've learned about Mad Catz over the years, it's this: Don't by Mad Catz.

    • HellG

      Buy*

      • Logan

        Thanks for that. Love typing on my phone.

    • Mike Harris

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. I think I remember using a Mad Catz controller on my original Playstation and having it not work properly anymore after that. That was almost 20 years ago, but I haven't bought anything from them since. If they asked for my advice, the first thing I'd tell them is to change their name. Even if I didn't have that bad experience, I'd have a hard time giving my money to any company that still uses a 'Z' instead of an 'S' at the end of their name.

  • http://www.facebook.com/seangt Sean Thomas

    Wow...more android gaming consoles. Has a single one of these even launched?

    • Vibrunazo

      The OUYA is the first of them, and it launches later this month. But we kickstarter backers have one already.

      • Sean Lumly

        Can you share some impressions? How do you like the system?

        • Drew Duncan

          Loving mine so far. It's not without issues but XBMC integration is seamless and I sleep a lot less playing games until 2:00am with friends.

          • Sean Lumly

            Cool! I was a little worried about gaming on the Tegra 3 (it's a somewhat weak SoC by today's standards), but I do enjoy gaming on my Nexus 7, so I expect I would enjoy the games more with an actual controller on the big-screen.

            I hear that not all games support the gamepads well. Lets hope that developers fix this, or OUYA devises are really clever controller-input-to-screen mapping system!

        • Vibrunazo

          I personally agree with the consensus that right now it's in very very early beta stage, and it shows. The software needs a lot work in current stage, but with time it seems like it's a really good concept. Today, it's more of an early adopter thing, for those wanting to get a taste of the future. As you can see here, many more Android consoles are coming, this is just the beginning of an era.

          • Sean Lumly

            I certainly hope that it is a success and they work out the software problems. Perhaps with enough developer interest the next version could be somewhat future-proofed with a very large GPU, mobile or otherwise! I know that Intel and AMD are interested in Android as a platform. Even their integrated graphics would be a significant step above what mobile GPUs can currently do.

            The future of Android consoles could be like a PC, powered by Android, connected to the TV.

          • Vibrunazo

            > with a very large GPU, mobile or otherwise!

            Specially now that nvidia is an investor on the OUYA. The OUYA 2 will probably be extremely powerful :)

          • Sean Lumly

            I certainly hope so. Android would be able to go head-to-head with next-gen consoles, marrying the best aspects of PC-performance with the ease of use a cloud-connected console. One can dream! I really hope it's heading in this direction..

  • Sean Lumly

    If these things start to sell, Android has a real shot at the console market. I would love to see modern desktop-class GPUs on and android-like systems for the large screen. It would be like PC gaming sans Microsoft, with a well established digital distribution system, Google Play. The trick is getting developers on board, but it may happen if we see a divergence in performance from these android game-consoles and regular smartphones/tablets.

    • youareme7

      I wouldn't necessarily agree they have a shot at competing with the xbone and ps4, but if they take of at least they could get into the living room. I just want to play FPS games with a real controller! If this brings more controller support to games, I'd throw down a hundy for one of these consoles.

      • Ivan Myring

        Xbone?

        • Sean Lumly

          X Box One (x.b.one or xbone)

      • Sean Lumly

        That's exactly it.. It's an entry point into that market, and we've all seen how Android can grow over time! If these systems sell enough to justify their existence, then I bet we'll see refreshes next year, as well as more players entering the market. I could also see companies like Intel, AMD and Nvidia getting in to the mix with ever-stronger GPUs for these Android-console devices that can be plugged in.

        Interestingly, some game engines of today -- eg. unity and unreal engine -- are able to deploy to both "mobile" (ie. Android) and desktop. If the living room proves successful, and there is stronger hardware, we could see PC/Console like boxes in the living room running Android. Steam is already moving towards this, and Android is a glove fit.

        $10 says Apple is already planning something like this for their AppleTV and will announce something at this year's WWDC. I really hope Android beats them to it!

        • youareme7

          I hope so too, I was really hoping google's game services would be more fleshed out; akin to xbox live or the like. I think they're working towards that goal but seems perhaps not fast enough. I'd be all over the latest modern combat on a tv with real matchmaking and voice chat, that would be awesome for a $6 game

          • Sean Lumly

            The pace certainly isn't fast enough to best this console generation, but Android moves slowly but surely forward. If there is a push for Android in the living room, and I were Android's competition, I would be very worried.

            Yes! A $6 game with great multiplayer would be a very compelling sell. In a few years time, an Android console running on a mobile GPU could provide quality of last-gen consoles, and if they use desktop GPUs, could actually push past this generations.

  • Madz™

    OUYA, Gamestick, MOJO, Shield gonna fall flat against the likes of PS4 and Xbox One.. Any Android based console gaming should be made by Google themselves, not another fragmented Android platforms..

    • Drew Duncan

      Xbox One has already failed. The world is watching Sony now.

      • Madz™

        Microsoft has to change their Xbox One policies if they wants to make sales.. Sony has to follow suit..

  • Danny Kees

    I've never had a good experience with any product MadCatz has ever made. Especially their controllers. I'll stay far away from this.