If you didn't know it by now, the proper term for these new Android consoles is "unconsole," or at least that's the phrase that's been coined to describe them. Frankly I hate the word, and now that you know what I'm talking about I'm not going to use it again because it's ridiculous.
The idea is that these new devices coming out aren't actual consoles, but instead are the exact opposite, simply because they're outfitted with mobile hardware. Devices in the "unconsole" world include the ever popular OUYA, Gamestick, and anything like them. Essentially, the term refers to a device that allows you to play Android based games on a TV. Once you realize just how broad that description is, you'll understand why I say the phrase "unconsole" is silly.
Regardless, an unconsole related peripheral has made headlines today. I know, I know, I said I wouldn't use it again, apparently I lied.
Green Throttle Games, the company that developed the Atlus wireless gamepad controller for Android (wow that's a mouthful), made a pretty sizeable announcement today. Unfortunately, it doesn't incorporate a new device of any kind, which is a bummer.
New software plugins have been developed for the Unity, Marmalade and Corona SDKs which explicitly authorize the Atlus controller to be used with said kits. Essentially, this means all games developed with one of those three frameworks is now compatible with the Atlus controller.
The Atlus controller allows Android users to play games on a TV while controlling the action with a single wireless gamepad. Better yet, you can do it all with an existing Android phone or tablet! No additional device is required to play games with the Atlus.
I'm going to pause for a second here to make an observation that I'm probably not alone in noticing. The Atlus controller looks an awful lot like a Xbox 360 controller, albeit with a different color scheme. Of course, the central buttons are located more northerly on the Atlus, but still it's kind of creeping me out. Moving on.
These Android based gaming peripherals and consoles are starting to crop up everywhere. Naturally, the winner is going to be determined by the quality and quantity of compatible games. People are going to flock to the device that offers the most bang for their buck, after all.
Green Throttle specifically targeted three of the most popular development frameworks in the industry, which means that more games are going to be compatible with the Atlus controller. This will also increase the company's chances of attracting future developers to the platform.
Marmalade CTO, Tim Closs seems to think that being available on "more screens" is better for his framework.
"Marmalade is all about taking games to new platforms and screens, and so Green Throttle is a natural partner for us."
Corona Labs CEO, Walter Luh, also spoke up about Green Throttle's recent announcement.
"We're thrilled to partner with Green Throttle and offer Corona SDK developers the ability to build innovative new games. The industry continues to evolve very rapidly and Green Throttle is at the forefront of bringing console-like experiences to mobile."
It's certainly good to see companies like Green Throttle and OUYA working hard to get developers on their side. In the end, the number of developers backing these products, is going to make a world of difference, especially in such a rapidly growing market.
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