Will the Wii U succeed? Are the Xbox 720 and PS4 on their way this fall? These and other questions are being headlined on numerous gaming sites. And yet Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony aren’t the only consoles in the running now. With the successful Kickstarter of Ouya, other Indie teams have decided to throw their hats into the ring. Here’s a look at the Ouya and two other indie consoles to keep an eye on.
Ouya: Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. From the small, sleek design, to the numerous development backers on the system, this is the indie console most likely to succeed. Square Enix even announced they’d be porting Final Fantasy III, the DS version, over to it. This is an odd choice by Square Enix, but a huge deal nonetheless. Not only that, but they just announced it will be launching this June for $99 and will be sold at retail stores like Best Buy and Target. The Internet is all well and good, but retail stores are still where you can get the most exposure. This is an exciting device for the emulation community alone. Plus it opens the doors for indie developers to release their games on a largely open platform. The promise is intriguing, but will everything work and payoff as it should? Only time will tell.
GameStick: Imagine, if you will, a console comprised of a controller and tiny USB plug-in and all you need to run it is a TV. Well that’s real and it’s called the GameStick. With a USB stick and a controller very reminiscent of the original Nintendo’s controller, this sleek device offers great portability. Remember when you lugged your consoles and games over to your friend’s house? This deters that hassle! Boasting a cheap price tag of $79, this little device is set to release in April. Now as all Kickstarter campaigns go, they are not bound to stick to this schedule. So like the Ouya, this could be a nice little alternative to play mobile, indie, and even emulated games with. And also like the Ouya, its quality is unknown. Plus it lacks big name backers like Square Enix porting over Final Fantasy 3. Still, it’s definitely a mouth-watering concept.
JXD Game Pad 2
JXD Game Pad 2: With the Wii U launching this past November, I thought it’d take awhile before someone copied its design. Nope, just 2 months actually. JXD is known to rip-off consoles, like the PSP, and build imitations that run off Android. Most of these consoles are meant and advertised to run emulators so retro gamers can have their field day. The Game Pad 2 does just that, offering an amazing HD display, face buttons, twin sticks, a touch screen, and quality specs running off Android 4.1. You can even plug it into a TV like the GameStick. And it not only advertises emulation gaming, but it comes preinstalled with nine of them including a NES, SNES, PS1, and more. Morals aside, the system looks great. I should offer a warning as to the quality of this system is even shadier than the Ouya, or GameStick. But at a reasonable average of $160, it may be worth the risk.