Hands-on: Mad Catz M.O.J.O. Android mini-console [VIDEO]

Mad Catz MOJO-00910

You many have noticed my absence from Phandroid this week, and for those of you wondering, it’s because I was busy losing my mind at this year’s E3 game convention in Los Angeles. In between playing with Xbox One, PS4, and upcoming Wii U games, I stopped by Mad Catz tiny booth set up outside the showroom floor to take a peak at another Android mini-console soon to arrive on the market: the Mad Catz M.O.J.O..

Still very much a work in progress, this tiny Android console is showing a bit more promise than offerings from OUYA or GameStick. For one, Mad Catz is holding their cards close to their chest, waiting to reveal final specs until closer to its release. They would only promise a high-end chipset will accompany the retail version, but wouldn’t commit to an SoC just yet, in an effort to keep the MOJO from becoming obsolete by the time it’s released. If true, that alone would help give the MOJO a leg up on its competition.

Mad Catz MOJO-00909

The MOJO’s second killer feature is in its software. It’s one of the few Android mini-consoles to offer full Google Play support, meaning you can bring your current Android game library with you. Everything you’ve every purchased on from the Play Store, should be immediately available on the MOJO and with games featuring Android’s new Google Play Games API, users should be able to take their game saves with them, no matter which device they’re gaming on. Epic. Game on-the-go with your smartphone and when you get home, pick up where you left off on a big-boy controller to help you pwn n00bs, or acquire those hard to reach achievements.

The MOJO also features no skins, just a pure stock Android 4.x Jelly Bean experience at an affordable price. With the backing from of one of the world’s leading accessories manufacturers, the gamepad itself features low-latecy Bluetooth Smart technology, media controls for skipping and playing of music, and even cursor support using one of the analog sticks (useful for games that don’t offer full controller support).

Mad Catz MOJO-00911

While not even the MOJO’s name has been finalized quite yet, we still have awhile before we see this land in stores. Mad Catz told us they’re shooting for a holiday release, but nothings set in stone. With the Android mini-console getting more crowded every day, Mad Catz will need to strike while the iron is hot, lest they get lost in the shuffle. If they can pack the MOJO with a Tegra 4 or Snapdragon 800 processor, they might have a real hit on their hands — no crowd funding necessary.

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  • Jordan Caviness

    Stock Android?! Tegra 4 or SD800!? 1080p?! i would buy.

  • CryptoNoel

    for the right price, i’d buy it in a heartbeat

  • supremekizzle

    I would buy, but; and don’t castrate me for this, I think it needs some sort of custom ui. Think XBMC or hyperspin. Ooooo me would loves some hyperspin on android. Seriously, Google that $h!t!

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Actually, I agree with you. It needs some kind of custom launcher to make games more easily accessible. Not sure about a system-wide custom UI though :P

      • Scotsman of Loch Ness

        Why not make different UIs for it available on Google Market (still not hyped on the Google Play [x] names). Then end users could choose the UK that suits them best.

  • Armado

    The only downside is its made by madcatz so it’ll break after a month.

  • uniquename72

    I had every intention of buying an Ouya, but there’s 1 thing about this that could sway me: IT HAS A DEDICATED AUDIO OUT INSTEAD OF DEPENDING ON HDMI.

    I use a projector rather than a television, and that’s the one reason I haven’t already pre-ordered the Ouya. We’ll see how long this takes to come to market.

  • Brandon Watkins

    This is one Android gaming console that I’m actually interested in. Looks Awesome! If it ran the tegra 4 it would kick ouya’s ass!

    • JulianZHuang

      but it still just play android games…

      • Brandon Watkins

        That’s not a bad thing….I mean last year we hit PlayStation 2 graphics . This year it looks like Were going to hit PlayStation 3, or damn near it. asphalt 8 And brothers in arms look amazing. It’s only going to get better, and with more consoles like this coming out its going to get a lot better!

  • scoter man1

    Even though I don’t give a dump about this genre of device… checkmate OUYA

    • dsqdevtst

      Ha!

  • Alan Shearer

    I can tell you one great thing about all these android consoles. I hpoe they all take off and become popular. Why? More games will come with a built in controller support, so more quality games will come out, gaming will be more traditional, and android can leave the shackles of touch based gaming (when it sucks). Android 4.0+ has a built in controller API, developers seldom take advantage of it, why I do not know (lazy bastards, yes, I mean that), hopefully this is the catalyst they need to do so.

    • http://peoplewho.tumblr.com wireless G

      I hope this one takes off more than the others, though. Why? Because they’re not trying to create their own ecosystem. The Ouya and (I believe) Gamestick both made their own stores, and are trying to leverage 30% of app revenue for themselves, so they’re really in the software business more than anything. With this thing, they’re just selling the hardware and letting it play anything compatible in the existing market.

      I’m sick of ecosystem wars, and because this thing works directly with Google Play and only requires controller support, it’s the first Android console I’d actually buy. Because it’s the first one that’s really open, despite Ouya’s grandiose talk.

      • Alan Shearer

        Nail hits head!!

  • http://none Cosmo UK

    So what is the best Chris XBOX1 or PS4, I think that Microsoft shot themselves in the foot about only being able to play new games, I think there maybe a firmware update for them after the first quarter sales figures?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      LOL! There very well could be, but I doubt it. I mean, it’s not ALL bad news with Microsoft’s DRM. There’s a lot of potential to become like Steam which, everyone hated at first, but grew to love with heavily discounted game sales.

      That being said, I’m getting the PS4 first (already pre-ordered it) and will play the wait and see card on the Xbox One (I really like their UI and what they’re doing with the Kinect).

  • DonMcCall

    The only other thing this needs is to ensure that external drives are supported via the USB port. Forget the SD card slot: imagine having 2TB of game and media storage plugged right into this console. For ~$100 (plus the cost of the external drive) this could potentially eliminate all need for a HTPC. Not just gaming….All Access, Netflix, Hulu+, HBO Go…. they just need to put extra resources into this and get it released already. I would buy one RIGHT NOW if it was on the market and slap Nova Launcher on it lol!

  • bob

    Google tv needs to challenge Roku for content before any android based mini console hardware will ever be seriously successful. I looked for EVERY possible reason I could think of to buy some sort of android based or google tv device over roku but couldn’t find one. Its the one place Google has failed in and not done anything to right the ship.

  • FortTech101

    4.Something

    HI-LARIOUS!