2013 is upon us and boy are there a lot of consoles coming this year. I’m not just talking about the big two, PS4 and 720, but also all the Android based consoles and other various devices coming out in 2013.
Let’s face it, no one knows officially when the PS4 and Xbox 720 are coming out, but strong intelligence and rumors point to a Holiday release, at least for the 720, maybe early 2014 for the PS4. These will be the two jaw droppers of 2013, the big leagues if you will. However, throughout the last year we have seen a huge growth in interest in Android based consoles, each with their own features that makes them unique and particularly interesting.
Ouya – $99 – Release date: April 2013:
This of course started with the Ouya Kickstarter. The Ouya is an Android based console, not much bigger than a rubiks cube. The unique traits of this console isn’t really the console itself, it’s the price model of the games. All games on the Ouya will be free to play or have a demo of some sort. Micro-transactions galore!
GameStick – $79 Release date: April 2013:
The GameStick is similar to that of the Ouya, but is designed as a portable console. The console its self is a USB stick that plugs into your TV. And can be stored in the controller so that you can take your console with you, in your pocket.
Nvidia’s Project Shield – Price Unknown – Release date: Q2 2013:
Project Shield is also an Android based console, but packs more of a punch then the two consoles above, and you can be sure you wallet will feel that punch. At first glance the Shield is a 5-inch screen mounted on an Xbox controller, and that’s kind of what it is, but what’s wrong with that? The Shield features a 5-inch 720p multitouch display mounted at the top of the controller. The controller is in fact the console. Think of it as a mobile gaming system that you can plug into your TV or stream your Steam games from your computer to, so you can play your PC wherever you have WiFi. The Shield will be able to play PC, Steam, TegraZone, and Google Play apps / games right out of the box.
All three of the above Android consoles designed to be an “open” platform, meaning developers, hackers, or whoever can create games with no big business man (or women) over you shoulder.
Steam Box – Price Unknown – Release date: 2013:
Not much is known about the Steam Box, except that it is made by Valve and will be designed for the Steam Big Picture client. Most likely a gaming PC packed into a neat looking console case. The closest thing we have to knowing what the Steam Box is, is the X7A, or “Piston”. The Steam Box will be a good way to merge console gamers into the PC gaming universe.
All these new devices are sweet and all, but at the end of the day I believe we’ll all fall back to the PS4, Xbox 720, and gaming PCs (Steam Box included) for our “hardcore” gaming experiences.