While Ouya is trying valiantly to create a new Android-based home gaming console, a new start-up founded by the guys behind Guitar Hero is trying to see if your existing device can do the job. Today Green Throttle released a software developer kit that will enable Android devs to map games to their Bluetooth hardware controllers. Once an Android phone or tablet is plugged into a TV over HDMI, users will be able to play games just as they would on any other traditional console. You'll even be able to play with two separate controllers for the real multiplayer experience. When out of the house, players will be able to continue playing the same game with standard on-screen controls. An on-device app will enable discovery of compatible games and quick access to any existing favorites.
It sounds promising, and with devices with 1080p displays becoming more prevalent, games that properly take advantage of the high resolution won't look bad at all on the big screen. Of course, optimizing titles for TV isn't something all developers will have the resources to do, nevermind going through the trouble to map in proprietary controls. On the upside, Green Throttle will be making some of their own games within the framework, which should set a solid bar for what to expect from other devs and provide at least a few titles for end-users to enjoy. I'm also worried that not every player is going to have a phone powerful enough to play a wide selection of high-end games optimized for 1080p. For those that do, a real, solid, controller will be more viable than on-screen controls for some game types, like first-person shooters and racing games.
Developers can get testing with the hardware controllers by pre-ordering two controllers with connectors for $89.95, with shipments heading out December 12. The included HD connectors are compatible with the Galaxy Nexus, One X, Galasy S2, and Galaxy Note. The SDK can be downloaded from the Green Throttle developer page. Any developers interested in giving this a shot? Gamers, are you willing to pitch in for an Ouya system, or would you just as soon see if your phone or tablet could do just as well? How many of you already use separate Bluetooth hardware controllers for your Android games?
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