At $249.99, Mad Catz's M.O.J.O. Android micro-console will cost two and a half times more than the Ouya when it's released December 10. It'll also be six times as powerful with the potential to stream games from your PC to your television set, so I'd say it evens out.
Earlier this year, when Mad Catz first announced its intentions to enter the Android micro-console market, the only way I could see it as a viable product was if it were sporting Nvidia's new Tegra 4 chip — the same chip that powers Nvidia's own Shield handheld. Well, it is.
In fact, the M.O.J.O.'s specs closely mirror those of the Shield, much like the third-party tablets of Nvidia's Tegra Note platform. It's got the Tegra 4 processor with 2GB of RAM, 16GB internal flash storage and a microSD slot supporting up to 128GB cards. It's pretty much the Shield without a screen or a built-in controller, which means it could quite easily handle the Shield's most attractive feature — streaming PC games from Nvidia-equipped PCs to its own display, which in this case would be your television.
Mad Catz has not announced such functionality, but a company representative told us there'd be plenty of information on the product rolling out in the coming weeks. It might not happen, but there is no hardware-related reason it couldn't.
Even without streaming functionality, the M.O.J.O. still outclasses the Ouya in all areas but price. It's got Google Play and Tegra Zone instead of a proprietary store. The Tegra 4 is six times as powerful as the Tegra 3 powering the Ouya. The controller, Mad Catz's own C.T.R.L.R., has to be better than the Ouya's sickly game pad. It's even got a mouse mode that turns one of its analog sticks into a pointer for touch-activated apps and games.
And it's prettier, at least I think so.
Excited enough to preorder? Click here to reserve yours. Rather wait and see? I'll make sure we have one to put through its paces later this year.
Update: Mad Catz has confirmed that PC game streaming is coming, just not at launch.