Mad Catz MOJO Micro-Console runs Android, features console-quality controller

The Mad Catz MOJO is a micro-console running Android and comes with a full-on console-quality controller. It currently has no price or release date.

Eric Franklin

Eric Franklin

Senior Managing Editor / Mobile

Eric Franklin leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco as managing editor. A 20-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, at the movies, or at the edge of his couch with a game controller in his hands.

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Yet another micro-console, this time with some real controller pedigree behind it. Mad Catz

Stop me if you've heard this one before: company plans to release a "micro-console" in 2013 as an alternative to the mainstream consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Said console to run Android.

The Mad Catz MOJO Android Micro-Console is the latest such device to be deemed press-release-worthy and hopefully worth your attention as a gamer. Micro-console is a name given to a number of alternative video game systems using the Android operation system although that's not necessarily a requirement. The consoles have thus far featured much smaller-than-usual form factors. Hence the term.

If you've been paying especially close attention to the video game console market, then you've likely heard this story before in the form of the GameStick, Ouya, and Shield. If not, well you can't really be blamed for being left in the dark, especially with recent overshadowing developments.

Connections and lots of them. Mad Catz

Like the Ouya, the MOJO looks to fit into the palm of most hands with a design reminiscent of a fireplace bellows, sans nozzle or handles of course. It also features an impressive array of connections including two USB ports, a Micro-USB port, full HDMI, an audio port, and a microSD card slot.

Thanks to its name we know it'll run Android, but which version it actually ends up shipping with remains a mystery trapped inside of an enigmatic conundrum. At least until Mad Catz makes a decision.

There's also little known about its internals. The company is so far mum on the MOJO's CPU, GPU, RAM, and drive space, but we do know that it will ship with the Google Play store compatibility. Which means that many sub-$10 games, Netflix, and Hulu Plus will be only a download away.

The console will also include a Mad Catz CTRLR (that's a "cool" way of saying "controller"; who needs vowels?!), a Bluetooth 4.0-compatible game pad, and it will be designed to work with the company's "entire eco-system of gaming peripherals,” according to Mad Catz President Darren Richardson. This includes all wireless GameSmart controllers, mice, keyboards, and headsets; however, whether that includes giant fighting sticks as well remains to be seen.

Is it too much to hope for a controller at least as comfortable as the Xbox 360's? Probably. Mad Catz

The controller looks reminiscent of an Xbox 360 controller -- honestly, you'd be hard-pressed to find a third-party controller that doesn't these days. In my experience, Mad Catz makes pretty good controllers and hopefully the bundled game pad continues that trend.

The MOJO has no price or release date yet, and since we're currently not privy to any of its internal specs, it's difficult to even get the least bit excited about it.

Aside from Nvidia's Shield, none of the micro-consoles yet announced is promising anything impressive when it comes to specs. Here's hoping Mad Catz uses this to its advantage; possibly announcing a high-spec (Snapdragon 800, anyone? Please!) Android console.

Unfortunately, the higher the spec, the higher the cost. And when an Xbox 360 is only $199 away, making a strong case for any Android console over $100 would be difficult to say the least. There is, however, something to be said for sub-$10 games.