2013 Micro console Comparisons:
Ouya, Nvidia Shield, PlayJam GameSick, Mad Catz MOJO

Last year was an exciting time to be watching micro-consoles!
Now there are newer micro-consoles type devices coming out in 2014, these include the Ouya 2, So Huawei Tron and vyper.
Also rumors of Amazon and Google creating their own.

Well, I thought it would be a good time to look back at 2013’s micro-consoles.
I haven’t included the Sony Playstation VitaTV.
It would have made the matrix more complicated ie Software/Hardware openness etc
Ironically, it’s more of a micro console then the Nvidia Shield!

There was (and still is) a reoccurring theme with micro-consoles of 2013, they all needed help!
Issues ranging from custom software, Android and hardware support, and now in 2014 are still in a work in progress.
I guess from the competitive rush to market.

I do own a MOJO so I am bias, but the spec information below comes from wikipedia and reviews sites.
Feel free to correct me below.

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The table is too large to fit here nicely, so I put it in a new window:
Show table in new window.

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Mad Catz MOJO - CTRLR Disassembled



After using my 7” tablet with the CTRLR, I started to wonder why the CTRLR weighs so much?
So I decided to open it and see.
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Random lines of code - Scene-viewer

Fellow GamePlay3D engine user Ithai Levi aka Random lines of code has created Scene-viewer for blender with GamePlay3D.
This app launches a GamePlay3D engine preview window of your 3D object and animation from blender.
I’m looking at porting this so I can use in Shade3D as it also use python scripting.

Links:
rlofc’s blog
rlofc’s youtube

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MOJO 7”: A full size portable
A big screen with a real controller!


The following is a documentation of how I use the Mad Catz’s Travel Clip (aka Moga Pro feature) with my 7” tablet.
My youtube video of me setting up and using it.

Obviously the controller (called CTRLR) wasn’t made for 7” tablets, it was made only for mobile phones.
I take no responsibility if you choose to follow my guide, follow at your own risk.
But I find that it works fine following these rules:

  • Do not put extra force or weight: no pushing, pulling or fast movements (running etc).
  • Do not over stretch the Travel Clip.
  • Do not leave Travel Clip on the tablet.

If you decide to try it out, please read and understand all of this before starting.
And let me know how you go, send me a photo of yours and I’ll put it up here with your name and comments on it.
I’m sure there is a better way of doing this, but this was quick, cheap and easy.

I would say it’s a better clone of the NVIDIA Shield (which I haven’t used) because of the 2 inch bigger screen, obviously it also depends on the tablet you use.

Surprisingly, it is a really fun way to play, It’s more intimate because of the larger screen and a familiar controller, I guess that must be the appeal the Shield is targeting.
It doesn’t feel like a children’s product because of it’s size and weight.
08.jpg

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Mad Catz M.O.J.O. Initial Hands-on-review

I like having the console stand vertically, it’s very stable. This book above isn’t level.

mad-catz-mojo-upright1.jpg


Update: 2014-03-02 Mad catz MOJO Final thoughts
Below is not maintained and out of date.

I’ve had my MOJO for a few days now, since the 28th of December 2013.
So I thought I would do a quick initial review.

First, here is me doing an unboxing for you:

Mad Catz MOJO Android Micro-Console Unboxing and setting up 28/12/2013

Setting up
Plug everything together, power it up and MOJO is up and running!
Very quick and easy :)

When going through the setup, USB/BT keyboard and a mouse is recommended as there is a lot of typing and clicking (network/account setup etc) which can take a long time with just the controller.

Next, you’ll notice a mad catz link on the main desktop, this is a walk-through guide on installing most common apps:

  • File explorer,
  • Set orientation
  • Flash plugin,
  • Dolphin browser and how to enable flash player,
  • How to update your firmware- if required,
  • How to side loading apps,
  • Registration

At the end there is a MOJO ‘portal’ link.

Finally, installing your apps from google play store, this is literally hit and miss but we’ll get to this later.

Here are my initial thoughts:

MOJO-Black-Monolith.jpg MOJO-Black-Monolith2.jpg

Click to see larger


The MOJO Pros

Graphics
The Tegra 4 is very impressive, NOVA3 just doesn’t feel like a mobile game
but a AAA console game and plays flawlessly with all visuals on high.
It’s light reflection ability being a highlight.

Fast UI/Multi-tasking
Android on the MOJO is extremely snappy!
It multi-tasks with no lag or slow down, ie media player, opera, games, twitter, skype etc
I can quickly drop back to the desktop with a push of the mad catz button.
All apps so far are very responsive with no sign of slow down.

Emulation
I’ll be doing a video on these soon, but for now here’s a list of what I’ve installed.

All installed from:
http://dayoftheouya.com/a-list-of-all-known-emulators-for-ouya/
Which all support controllers:

If you don’t know which to get, I can recommend the .emu ones, easy to setup.
Or just install this:
http://dayoftheouya.com/ouya/retroarch
Quick to set up ALL systems and includes most Sega/Nintendo consoles/portables, Doom/Quake & PSX

I installed these:
N64: Mupen64Plus AE
I start with the OUYA layout and change the D-pad and Z trigger buttons.
Easy to map controls, works well.
Roms must be .z64
Configure the graphics plug-in using the 10th Anniversary one, works the best.
Actually plays better then I expected! FPS work fine, driving games not that good.

SNES: Snes9xPlus
Works well, create a new profile and set the CTRLR.
Roms must be .smc

NES: NES.emu
Sega MegaDrive/Genius: MD.emu

All 8/16bit games I’ve test run at full speed, I haven’t tried PSX yet.

Media player
XBMC runs very well, locally and streaming media from my PC.
HD videos run with no glitching, very smooth.

Quick boot up
Boot up time is very fast, 25 seconds!
I’ve installed a few apps (opera, dolphin, NOVA3, Conduit HD, Meltdown, Dead trigger 2, beachbuggy, Twitter, wifi analyzer, emulators, Antutu Benchmark, skype, PDF reader, VLC, MX player, XMBC, gameplay3d.org demos) I guess there’s not much on it yet but impressive non the less.

USB/Bluetooth
I can pair my mini BT keyboard and surf/tweet/skype etc
Overall it works well, all alpha numeric keys work as expected.
However there’s mapping issues with the delete, shift and enter keys.

Play Ouya games
From http://forum.xda-dev … thread.php?t=2596802:

Every Ouya game seems to work very well or even better than on the Ouya. If you use the CTRL, some buttons seem to be mapped wrong, but this is not a big problem, most of the games can be played. If you own an Ouya, then you can even use the Ouya controller on the mojo, where you do not have wrong mapped buttons.

The only issue is that you can’t buy the full version of the games. But most of those games are free anyway. And all of the games are free to try. This way, you can play 500+ great games on the MOJO

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