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Huawei unveils its own Android-powered micro-console, the Huawei Tron
Although Android gaming has yet to truly take off the way that companies like OUYA had probably hoped it would, we are still in the early days of the micro-console’s evolution and it’s still too early to say that the idea doesn’t have merit.
With that in mind, Huawei has been showing off its very own Android-powered console at CES 2014, the Tegra 4-powered ‘Tron’. Aside from the Tegra 4 CPU, the new micro-console features 2GB RAM, 16 or 32GB storage, microSD expansion, USB 3.0, Ethernet, WiFi a/b/g/n/ac and a controller that is very similar to the OUYA. In other words, the controller a lot like the Xbox 360 control with a touchpad shoved into the middle.
Before you completely dismiss the Tron as a bad idea however, remember that the target is the Chinese market and that the timing could actually be perfect.
In terms of software, the Tron features Android 4.2.3 Jelly Bean with a custom UI designed for use on the big screen. Unlike Madcatz’s M.O.J.O., the Hauwei Tron will not feature Google Play and will instead use its own Huawei store, which means it will have a limited number of games and apps.
Overall, the trash-bin-looking Tron seems like a decent enough Android gaming system under the hood, though there doesn’t seem to be much that sets it apart from the existing micro-console competition. Even if you like what you see with the Huawei Tron, odds are you won’t be seeing it outside of China anytime soon.
According to Huawei, it will arrive at a price of around $120 or less to China in May. While Huawei doesn’t completely rule out an international launch, we wouldn’t get your hopes up. Before you completely dismiss the Tron as a bad idea however, remember that the target is the Chinese market and that the timing could actually be perfect.
Huawei may be hoping its cheaper Android game system will attract Chinese consumers that are looking for a more affordable option to mainstream consoles.
Just the other day, China officially lifted its ban on gaming consoles. While many gamers have been buying systems like the Xbox 360 and PS3 for years via the gray market, the new (though currently temporary) lift on the ban opens up gaming to those that might have otherwise been unable to get their hands on a gaming console.
This means that companies like Sony and Microsoft may soon begin to officially target mainland China, but of course not everyone will be able to afford premium game consoles. Huawei is probably hoping its cheap “Chinese-made” game system will attract folks that are looking for a more affordable option. Keep in mind that’s just speculation on our part, but the timing of Huawei’s announcement certainly seems to good to just be coincidence.
What do you think of the Tron, like it or not? How do you feel about micro-consoles in general, does Android gaming have a place in our living rooms or is it a limited niche at best?