This article needs to be updated.September 2018)(
A microconsole is a type of video game console. Many of the devices, that the term has been used to describe, are low-cost Android-based devices that are designed to connect to televisions and play video games downloaded from an application store, such as Google Play.
In late 2010, cloud gaming startup OnLive released MicroConsole, a television adapter and wireless controller that connects the company's computer game streaming service to televisions.VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi described the device as representing the company founder's "vision to turn the video game industry upside down" as an inexpensive console providing "high-end games on low-end hardware" that could eliminate the cycle of regular consumer hardware upgrades. The MicroConsole TV adapter was produced at a loss. OnLive's MicroConsole made the company an early leader in the nascent microconsole field.
Amidst a "new war for TV" in the consumer electronics industry,an inexpensive and simple Android-based video game console designed for televisions called Ouya was announced for crowdfunding in July 2012. The Ouya was an overnight success and raised $8.5 million. Significant interest in low-cost Android console gaming followed Ouya's success, spurred by the mobile games industry growth. The industry began to refer to the resulting consoles as alternative consoles, or microconsoles.
Polygon reported that Android "consoles" were best-in-show at the January 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, citing devices like the MOGA Pro, Green Throttle Games Atlas controller, Nvidia Shield, and news of Valve's Steam Machine, a non-Android console.Following Ouya's success, other similar set-top Android gaming devices were announced as direct competitors, including the GameStick in early 2013, GamePop in May 2013, and Mad Catz's MOJO in June 2013. Forbes's Daniel Nye Griffiths referred to Ouya and GameStick's close release dates as the microconsole field's first "showdown". The GamePop and MOJO announcements in the early summer referred to the devices as "microconsoles".
The PlayStation TV (known in Asia as the PlayStation Vita TV) is a microconsole announced in September 2013 at a Sony Computer Entertainment Japan presentation.It was released in Japan on November 14, 2013 and in North America on October 14, 2014.
Gamasutra called Ouya, GameStick, and GamePop "console alternatives" that represent "a potential new market space for developers".Tadhg Kelly, writing for Edge , called 2013 "the year of the microconsole", citing less consumer need for traditional console power, the low price of microconsole manufacture, increased system compatibility for easier game development, and more developer freedom from console business interests. Microconsole promises of a less restrictive platform are expected to empower independent game developers. Kelly referred to the "deliberately small" microconsoles as "the netbooks of the console world", not intended to compete with big video game consoles. Other reviewers called the microconsoles competitors, though not a threat, and referred to a crowded "non-traditional console space" as a disadvantage. Kelly added that Ouya is heavily focused on the early adopter audience and its interests, and that Ouya's "natural advantage" of price has not been communicated effectively. Edge questioned possibilities of microconsole success due to competition within the field as well as from Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft's new consoles.
The pre-release Ouya was panned by early reviewers.The Verge called it unfinished, and in a later review, Eurogamer questioned why consumers would purchase a console that duplicated the functionality of smartphones they already had.
The video game industry saw the digital media receiver on Apple's Apple TV as potential microconsole competition due to the company's experience in the mobile games market.Polygon reported in January 2013 that the Apple TV "continue[d] to be dangerously close to upending the mobile gaming space" and speculated that an Apple TV App Store could spark "a rush of games to the television".
Razer Inc. is a global gaming hardware manufacturing company, esports and financial services provider established by Min-Liang Tan and Robert Krakoff. The company is currently headquartered in Irvine, California and Singapore.
The seventh generation of video game consoles began on November 22, 2005, with the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360 home console. This was soon followed by the release of Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 3 on November 17, 2006 and Nintendo's Wii on November 19, 2006, the following year. Each new console introduced new technologies. The Xbox 360 offered games rendered natively at high-definition video (HD) resolutions, the PlayStation 3 offered HD movie playback via a built-in 3D Blu-ray Disc player, and the Wii focused on integrating controllers with movement sensors as well as joysticks. Some Wii controllers could be moved about to control in-game actions, which enabled players to simulate real-world actions through movement during gameplay. By this generation, video game consoles had become an important part of the global IT infrastructure; it is estimated that video game consoles represented 25% of the world's general-purpose computational power in 2007.
PlayStation is a Japanese video game brand that consists of five home video game consoles, as well as a media center, an online service, a line of controllers, two handhelds and a phone, as well as multiple magazines. The brand is produced by Sony Interactive Entertainment, a division of Sony, with the first console releasing as the PlayStation in Japan released in December 1994, and worldwide the following year.
OnLive was a Mountain View, California-based provider of cloud virtualization technologies. OnLive's flagship product was its cloud gaming service, which allowed subscribers to rent or demo computer games without installing them on their device. Games were delivered to OnLive's client software as streaming video rendered by the service's servers, rather than rendered locally by the device. This setup allowed the games to run on computers and devices that would normally be unable to run them due to insufficient hardware, and also enabled other features, such as the ability for players to record gameplay and to spectate. The service was available through clients for personal computers and mobile devices, as well as through smart TVs and a dedicated video game console-styled device known as the OnLive Game System. OnLive also expanded into the cloud desktop market with a sister product, OnLive Desktop—a subscription service offering a cloud-based instance of Windows Server 2008 R2 accessible via tablets.
The 2010s was the fifth decade in the industry's history. The decade was notable for producing the first truly "3D" games and consoles, introducing cloud gaming and virtual reality to consumers, and the rising influence of tablet-based and mobile casual games. The industry remained heavily dominated by the actions of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, but it remains unforeseen how their dominance will be affected by cloud gaming and the growing smartphone and tablet market.
A home video game console, or simply home console, is a video game device that is primarily used for home gamers, as opposed to in arcades or some other commercial establishment. Home consoles are one type of video game consoles, in contrast to the handheld game consoles which are smaller and portable, allowing people to carry them and play them at any time or place, along with microconsoles and dedicated consoles.
The eighth generation of consoles includes consoles released since 2012 by Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony. For home video game consoles, the eighth generation began on November 18, 2012, with the release of the Wii U, and continued with the release of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) on November 15, 2013, and the Xbox One on November 22, 2013. The Wii U was the first home console of this generation to be discontinued, on January 31, 2017, to make way for Nintendo's second home console competitor, the Nintendo Switch, released on March 3, 2017. These video game consoles follow their seventh generation predecessors from the same three companies: Nintendo's Wii, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Microsoft's Xbox 360. Throughout the generation, Sony and Microsoft continued to release hardware upgrades to their flagship consoles. In August 2016 and September 2016, Microsoft and Sony respectively both released "slim" revisions of their consoles, the Xbox One S and the PlayStation 4 Slim. The Xbox One S notably added support for HDR video and Ultra HD Blu-ray, while Sony released a software update to add HDR to all existing PlayStation 4 consoles; the PlayStation 4 Slim does not support UHD Blu-ray. Following this was an upgraded version of the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 4 Pro, which was released later in November 2016; meanwhile, Microsoft also announced an upgraded version of the Xbox One in 2016 under the name Project Scorpio. This would become the Xbox One X, released a year later in November 2017. Both of these consoles were aimed at providing upgraded hardware to support rendering games at up to 4K resolution.
The PlayStation 4 is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. Announced as the successor to the PlayStation 3 in February 2013, it was launched on November 15 in North America, November 29 in Europe, South America and Australia, and on February 22, 2014 in Japan. It competes with Microsoft's Xbox One and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.
The Xbox app is an app for Windows 8, Windows 10, Android, and iOS. It acts as a companion app for Xbox video game consoles, providing access to Xbox Live community features, remote control, as well as second screen functionality with selected games, applications, and content.
The Ouya, stylized as OUYA, is an Android-based microconsole developed by Ouya Inc. Julie Uhrman founded the project in 2012, bringing in designer Yves Béhar to collaborate on its design and Muffi Ghadiali as VP of Product Management to put together the engineering team. Development was funded via Kickstarter, raising US$8.5 million, becoming one of the website's highest earning projects in its history.
The GameStick is a home video game console developed by PlayJam. It is a microconsole the size of a USB flash drive that plugs directly into the back of a TV through an HDMI port and ships with its own Bluetooth controller. Users can download content from a curated storefront via Wi-Fi, with content stored locally for offline access. The device is powered by the PlayJam Games Platform and runs its own version of the Android operating system. It is portable and aimed at casual to mid-core gamers. Like the Ouya, it was funded through Kickstarter.
The Xbox One is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Microsoft. Announced in May 2013, it is the successor to Xbox 360 and the third console in the Xbox series of video game consoles. It was first released in North America, parts of Europe, Australia, and South America in November 2013, and in Japan, China, and other European countries in September 2014. It is the first Xbox game console to be released in China, specifically in the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone. Microsoft marketed the device as an "all-in-one entertainment system", hence the name 'Xbox One'. The Xbox One mainly competes against Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Wii U and Switch.
MOJO, stylized as M.O.J.O., is an Android-based video game microconsole manufactured by Mad Catz.
Green Throttle Games is a video game and video game peripheral developer.
TowerFall is an action indie video game created by Matt Thorson through their company Matt Makes Games. In the game, players control up to four archers in a multiplayer platform fighter. It was released on the Ouya microconsole in June 2013 and was later ported to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Linux, OS X, and Windows as TowerFall Ascension.
PlayStation TV, known in Japan and other parts of Asia as the PlayStation Vita TV or PS Vita TV, is a microconsole, and a non-handheld variant of the PlayStation Vita handheld game console. It was released in Japan on November 14, 2013, North America on October 14, 2014, and Europe and Australia on November 14, 2014.
Android TV is a version of the Android operating system by Google designed for digital media players, set-top boxes, soundbars, and TVs. Serving as a replacement for Google TV, it features a user interface designed around content discovery and voice search, surfacing content aggregated from various media apps and services, and integration with other recent Google technologies such as Assistant, Cast, and Knowledge Graph.
The Nvidia Shield TV, Shield Android TV, or simply the Nvidia Shield, is an Android TV-based digital media player produced by Nvidia as part of its Shield brand of Android devices. First released in May 2015, the Shield was initially marketed by Nvidia as a microconsole, emphasizing its ability to play downloaded games and stream games from a compatible PC on a local network, or via the GeForce Now subscription service. As with all other Android TV devices, it can also stream content from various sources using apps, and also supports 4K resolution video. It is produced in two models, with the second Shield TV Pro model distinguished primarily by increased internal storage.