November 12, 2013, 6:00 AM —
Apparently the Android gaming business is a tough business to make it in. The Ouya seems to be treading water and while Nvidia's Shield is a critical success its price tag seems to be keeping its install base relatively small. (I'm basing that on anecdotal experience, not firm numbers from the company or an analyst.)
The Gamestick just saw yet another delay. Granted it's a short one of only a week (from November 8th to November 15th). There's been little news out of GamePop lately, though maybe they'll surprise us and come out swinging before the holiday. To be fair their launch date was never more specific than 'this winter.'
And then there's Green Throttle. Remember them? When they first hit the PR circuit last December they got a ton of coverage based on the fact that the company was founded by one of the creators of Guitar Hero. The Green Throttle Atlas is a controller that you'd pair with your Android device, much in the same way that the Moga (or any number of other competitors work). You could then connect to a big-screen via HDMI and voila, your Android device just became a micro-console.
As far as I can figure, the Green Throttle Atlas launched some time last spring for $40. And now the company has already abandoned it. The website now says:
Beginning November 8th, 2013, our Arena app will no longer be available on Google Play or the Amazon Appstore for Android and all backend support for the app will cease.
Current owners of Arena and Atlas controllers will notice little change to functionality. For instance, they can still use the app to launch their existing games and their controllers will still function and behave as normal HID controllers would, even without Arena. Atlas controllers will even remain available for purchase. However, no more Green Throttle supported titles will be added to Arena going forward.
I don't have an Atlas so I don't know how useful it is without the Arena software, but if you're in the market for an Android controller, I'd suggest you look somewhere other than to Green Throttle for that. There won't be any further development of Arena or any more games customized to work with it.
So the Android-in-the-living-room gaming-space goes back to waiting for its runaway hit that takes it from an interesting curiosity to a real threat to established consoles. Maybe the Ouya can still be that device. Maybe Gamestick or GamePop can do it. Or maybe Android games are destined to never break out of their touch-screen jails.
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