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.