For the past couple of years, a fairly mysterious tech startup called Wonder has been teasing us with its plans to offer a high-end gaming experience on your smartphone. One year ago, it revealed in an interview with The Verge that it was working on its own Android smartphone that would have its gaming software installed.
Now, the company has relaunched its website, with the first public images of what its WonderOS gaming software will actually look like. Basically, WonderOS is aiming to make your smartphone the only device you will use to play any game, whether it is released for mobile, console, or PC platforms.
The site also seems to signal a small change in direction for Wonder. It no longer mentions launching its own smartphone, but its FAQ page does state it is “working with multiple device manufacturers and OEMs to integrate WonderOS on smartphones all over the world.” It is currently signing up users whocould be selected to beta test WonderOS on their phone.
What is WonderOS and how will it make video gaming better on phones?
So what exactly is WonderOS? According to their relaunched website, think of it as “a Roku of games” that will be so open-ended, it will let you play any kind of game on your phone. In addition to playing mobile games, WonderOS is supposed to let you stream your favorite console and PC games and play them on your phone as well.
WonderOS is also supposed to allow players to not only connect and play with other gamers, but they can also livestream their current games for others to check out and watch. The FAQ page says that the core WonderOS platform will be free for gamers, but it will also offer paid options, such as purchasing games directly, or with special membership subscriptions that will add features, including the ability to stream console and PC games and access to a library of premium games for free.
While it appears that Wonder won’t sell its own smartphones, it will sell other hardware that will connect to phones with WonderOS installed. That includes a Wonder GamePad, which will allow players to control games on their phone with a console-like experience. There’s also the Wonder Dock, which will allow smartphones to connect to big-screen TVs and monitors, again to better play console and PC-based games.
When will WonderOS officially launch?
Unfortunately, there’s no word on when the company plans to officially launch WonderOS. As we mentioned before, the site is currently taking signups for gamers to beta test the software. There’s also no word on how much its premium services, gamepad, and dock will cost.
Will WonderOS succeed?
Wonder is a relatively small gaming startup company, but it definitely has very ambitious plans to turn Android smartphones into a device where owners can play any game they desire. Of course, we are already seeing tons of competition from major companies in this type of gaming space.
Microsoft and Google are planning to launch their own streaming game services, (XCloud and Stadia, respectively), later this year. Both are targeting mobile gamers in their quest to offer high-end console gaming to smartphones. Of course, there’s also the Nintendo Switch, which has been highly successful in offering a way for gamers to play its titles on the go with its tablet-like controller.
It’s going to be interesting to see if WonderOS will be able to truly offer a one-stop platform for playing any game. Hopefully, with E3 2019 coming up in a few weeks, the company will reveal more info on its plans.