Just a day after the Chinese government relaxed its 14 year ban on gaming consoles, Huawei has unveiled its own Android game console at the CES 2014. Huawei Tron will remind you of the cylindrical Mac Pro since it has a similar design only smaller. It uses an ARM based processor and connects to a TV set. A wireless controller is included to allow games to be played.
On the technical side the Huawei Tron will run on Google’s Android 4.2 operating system. It uses an Nvidia Tegra 4 processor (the same processor used by the Nvidia Shield) and comes with 2 GB of RAM. There’s a 16 GB and a 32 GB version available. The specs will definitely make the full 1080p output using HDMI work smoothly.
Other features of this device include 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, and a full-sized USB 3.0 port.
In terms of gaming performance the device performed well. Those who were able to test it say that it handled rather quite well. Dead Trigger 2 which has been heavily promoted by Nvidia since the game has been optimized for the Tegra 4 felt awkward to control although the problem is on the game itself rather on the hardware.
The device will have a price tag of US$120 in China which makes it more expensive than the Ouya yet cheaper than the Mad Catz M.O.J.O. or NVIDIA Shield.
One of the biggest challenges that this game console will face (which is also the challenge of other Android gaming consoles) is the availability of compatible Android game titles. Android games are primarily designed to be controlled using the touch interface. Adding a physical controller in the mix will often make the game difficult to control or worse unplayable. Right now there are only a few games that support input using a game controller.
Android game consoles still remain a new market whose potential hasn’t been fully explored yet. The entry of new players into this space will definitely be beneficial. Maybe 2 to 3 years from now it will be able to give the big three players (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) serious competition.
The initial market of the Huawei Tron will be China however since the company featured the device at CES 2014 then it’s most likely that a worldwide release will be coming soon.