A plucky American start-up is attempting to wrest a piece of the dedicated handheld market away from Nintendo and Sony (sort of) by introducing the MG, the world's first Android-powered dedicated gaming handheld.
Similar in size, shape, and hardware to an Android phone, the MG aims to be the iPod touch of the Android community. In other words, it's a wi-fi-only device that only plays games, music, and video.
Aimed at freemium and casual gamers (and parents with game-demanding children), the MG is a bit light in the hardware department and features the following specifications:
- 4" WVGA (480x800) Capacitive Touch
- TCC8925 Cortex A5 processor at 1GHz.
- 1GB RAM/4GB of internal flash storage
- 1880mAh battery
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- 1.3MP front-facing camera for still image and video capture
- Stereo headset jack
- Micro SD card slot for expandable memory
- Micro USB 2.0 HS
- Gyroscope, Compass, Accelerometer sensors
Unfortunately, the MG is powered by a single-core processor, which will disqualify it from playing any graphically-intensive Android games.
Ouya or Ou-no?
One potential issue facing the MG is its price point. While substantially cheaper than the PS Vita, the MG's tentative retail price of £105.00 / $169.00 makes it comparable in cost to the Nintendo 3DS.
A point in the MG's favour, however, is that it is designed with freemium and casual games in mind, making it far more economical to load with mobile gaming content than the 3DS.
It's difficult to say whether MG will find enough of a market to meet its $950,000 Kickstarter goal, but its manufacturer - PlayMG Corp - plans to proceed with its release regardless of whether the goal is achieved or not.
The MG follows in the wake of the phenomenally successful Ouya Kickstarter, which raised $8.5 million to fund the world’s first dedicated Android gaming console.