Finally! I’ve been begging them to do this since even before Google TV was merely rumored to be announced – 3 years ago. It should’ve been the strategy from day one.
The TV business was too hard to get into, and Google needed market share before they could convince the content providers to make apps for them and give them the content. That’s where the “console” part comes in, by getting it into the hands of millions of people first, and then focus on the TV part. They’ve wasted 3 years with Google TV on the market, achieving absolutely no market share, because they didn’t even have access to TV content. It would’ve been much easier to focus on getting developers to port their games in this time.
They need to do something like the OUYA, but with an actual modern mobile chip, and make it high-quality, even if it costs twice as much – $200. If they launch it next year for example, they should use Nvidia’s Kepler-based Tegra 5. If they do it this year, maybe they can use the Qualcomm Snapdragon S800. That would be pretty decent. Or some PowerVR Series 6-based chip.
Then after they launch this, it might be best if they allowed others to make such “Android consoles”, too, kind of the same strategy as Valve, and turn Android into a “console platform”, instead of just a “console box”. That way they could achieve market share much more rapidly. But they need to use the Chromebook strategy, and others can use their software as is, but can’t do any modifications to it. Otherwise they shouldn’t bother licensing it.
And of course they actually need to be pro-active about getting developers to port their apps – for once! They’ve made such a huge error laying back when it came to tablet apps for Android, think they will “just come”, if they do nothing. That was a really poor decision on their part.
They need to do what Sony did with indie developers, and Microsoft with WP8/Windows 8 developers early on, and get them to make apps quickly, so they can have hundreds or thousands of games from day one of the box. I think even OUYA has hundreds of games available. I really hope they are not going to mess this up and launch it with like 10 games.
If they release a Google console for $200, with the latest and greatest mobile ARM chip out there, at least 2 GB of RAM (or 3 or 4 GB), at least 8 GB of storage with microSD slot that supports up to 64 GB, and some OS that is based on Android 5.0, and works even better on the same hardware as previous versions did, I think Google would be on to something there. Of course they will still need to promote it heavily, and get a lot of games on it as fast as possible to make it a success. [Via Gamasutra]