Ouya kicked off the Android-based game console space in 2012 with their Tegra 3-powered disappointment factory, and since that time a number of other entrants, including NVidia and Mad Catz, have tried to compete for a slice of a market that frankly, I’m not sure exists.
That’s not stopping Equiso from throwing themselves into the ring though with their two consoles that have just shown up on Kickstarter. The Equiso Play is the base model and features Android 4.4 running on the following hardware:
- 2.0 GHz ARM Cortex A9 r-4 CPU
- 8-core Mali 450 GPU, clocked at 600MHz
- 2 USB ports, micro-USB, micro-SD, Ethernet, HDMI 4.1, 3.5mm and optical audio-out ports
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 8 GB flash storage
- 1 GB DDR3 RAM 32-bit channel
There are a few things that could be improved about the Equiso – it could use more RAM, and although the console will have a micro-SD slot, it could definitely benefit from more internal memory. What isn’t noted above though is that the Equiso Play will have two Wi-Fi chips, which will apparently result in more responsive gameplay. The software for the console will also be completely open-source, and tinkering is encouraged by the manufacturer.
Interestingly, there is no special controller for the console. Your smartphone or tablet will be used as the controller, but you can also connect standard USB and Bluetooth controllers as well. The Play will also act as a Miracast or Airplay receiver so you can send content to your TV from any other device you own.
There is a higher-end model, the Equiso Play Elite, which supports 4K video, ups the RAM to 2GB, and includes 16GB internal storage.
Equiso expect to ship the Play to Kickstarter backers in July 2014. A pledge of $89 (plus $15 international shipping) is enough to get you the base model, and if you pledge $129 (plus shipping), you’ll get the upgraded Elite model.