Android gamers waiting impatiently for Mad Catz Interactive's M.O.J.O. console can now pre-purchase the device for $249.99 USD. The console will begin shipping on December 10, 2013, packing a Tegra 4 SoC, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. That's $50 less than Nvidia's Shield handheld, which has its own built-in 5 inch touch screen, mini-HDMI output and can be played anywhere.
"The M.O.J.O. Micro-Console for Android has attracted strong interest due to its high-performance hardware, open software platform and the ecosystem of accessories," said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. "M.O.J.O. is the center piece of our GameSmart mobile initiative and brings core gaming experiences to the mobile platform."
As previously mentioned, the M.O.J.O. sports a Tegra 4 quad-core chip clocked at 1.8 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, Wireless N and Bluetooth 2.1/4.0 connectivity, one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, an Ethernet port, HDMI output (full, not micro), a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a card reader supporting SDXC cards up to 128 GB. Although Google nuked the apps2SD feature in Android a while back, this extra storage can be used to locally store photos, music and video (Play Movies doesn't support SD storage).
Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean" is the OS of choice, and that's good news for Android gamers who already have a large library of purchased titles stocked on Google Play. The console will ship with Google's storefront intact as well as Nvidia's TegraZone app, which lists Android games offered on Google Play that takes advantage of Tegra hardware. By comparison, the OUYA Android console launched this summer doesn't support Google Play games, and instead forces owners to purchase their games again through the console's "closed" marketplace.
The M.O.J.O. Android console also comes bundled with a GameSmart C.T.R.L.R. Wireless Gamepad that provides three different gaming modes. The device is based on Bluetooth Smart that promises lower latency, extended battery life and compatibility with other Bluetooth devices. The device even plays well with touch-focused games, allowing users to control an onscreen cursor with the left analog stick.
For the price, Android gamers are getting a console/streaming media player and a gamepad, whereas the similarly specced Nvidia Shield crams both into one form factor and adds a 5 inch touch screen for $50 more. Unfortunately, the M.O.J.O. arrives during the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 season, so even if Android gamers take notice of the Mad Catz gadget, they may be saving up their money for the shiny new mainstream consoles, and plan to continue to play their favorite Android titles on a phone or tablet.
To pre-purchase the M.O.J.O. Android console, head here.
UPDATE: Here's what Mad Catz had to say about streaming PC games from Nvidia Kepler-based PCs:
"The plan is indeed for M.O.J.O. to enable streaming from compatible PC's, allowing gamers to play their PC titles on the living room TV. However, we have not yet confirmed when this functionality will be enabled. For PC streaming to work, M.O.J.O. will require a simple update which we hope will be available shortly after launch."