It's been almost a year since gaming accessory maker Mad Catz tried its hand at Android hardware with the MOJO (or M.O.J.O., despite the lack of any actual acronym). The tiny set-top box with mobile hardware and a relatively stock build of Android hasn't exactly set the world on fire, even after a $50 price drop from its $250 MSRP shortly after release. Maybe that's why Mad Catz has decided to do it again: the MOJO can now be had for $149.99.
The Mad Catz M.O.J.O. didn't exactly get a glowing review from us back in February, but bless its little heart, it's still trying. The latest official firmware update adds some significant features to the device, making its $199 retail price a little more palatable. The MOJO is now the first device to support OUYA Everywhere, which means that it gets access to the games on the proprietary OUYA store in addition to the built-in Google Play Store.
Speaking of which, access to the Play Store is being expanded as well.
A few days ago the Ouya folks announced the Ouya Everywhere initiative and the company's intention to expand the platform beyond the one inspirational-but-somewhat-disappointing Android-powered gaming console it's put out so far. Now it's announcing its first partner, Mad Catz, the developer of the less-inspirational-but-still-disappointing M.O.J.O system. To coincide with the news, Mat Catz is dropping the price of their product down fifty bucks to $199.99.
The M.O.J.O. comes with stock Android out of the box, and there is nothing on the software side that tweaks the majority of mobile titles for hardware controls.
When I wrote my initial impressions of the MOJO, I had only been using the unit for about a day or so (hence the impressions being "initial"). Now that I've had it for about three weeks, I've spent a lot of time doing various things with it – playing games, watching movies, streaming videos and NBA basketball; basically, a lot of the stuff I would normally used SHIELD for. This has given me a good idea of where MOJO's strong points are, where it falls short, and how it stacks up against SHIELD and OUYA.
So, Android-powered game consoles are a thing. Whether anyone likes it or not, this is a direction that some companies are going, trying to reshape how we think of traditional gaming. It kind of started with the OUYA, a $99 Android console that takes a unique approach to the gaming console, as well as Android itself. It doesn't have the Play Store, but instead OUYA's curated game store where all games are free to try.