Last month, Snail Games, a Chinese game development company announced the creation of three Android gaming devices: the W and W 3D smartphone and the Obox console. Considering the history of past mobile gaming devices such as the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play and the Nokia N-Gage, the odds aren't in Snail Games' favor. This week at CES, we had a first-hand look at the devices, which have potential to make a dent if they fall into the right hands.
The 2.2 GHz, dual-sim W 3D features a 1080i resolution and 16 GB of RAM. The company's eye-tracking technology is used to activate the 3D feature for movies and games. When I put the phone in front of me, a small screen on the bottom left corner showed that the front-facing camera was tracking my face and activated the 3D screen. Unlike the Nintendo 3DS, which allows you to adjust the 3D intensity, there is only one 3D setting on the W 3D. In future titles, game developers can add a setting in their games to adjust the 3D intensity.
At the moment, the phone's 3D display is comfortable to look at and lets you easily discern between multiple levels of depth without getting a headache. As for the Obox, Snail Games plans to make it the best platform for games. Boasting a 4K resolution and 3D capabilities, it can play any Android game or app and also works with the W 3D to stream games from the device to the Obox. The Obox also comes with its own controller if you don't want to use the phone.
Based on our brief look at the devices and their functions, it seems that Snail Games might be on to something by bringing to the mobile market not only an interesting mobile device, but also one that streams Android games and apps to a living room console. However, the fact remains that this is the company's first step into gaming hardware, and its gaming history is rooted in making games, not hardware. We will see Snail Games again later in the week for a more detailed look into the devices' inner parts.