So here am I again, pitting a couple of interesting pieces of hardware against each other! We have all met the Ouya, but lets meet the GameStick
The GameStick is a pocket size console, consisting of a console that docks inside it’s own controller! The Kickstarter for the GameStick has reached it’s target and still has 27 more days to go! Unlike the Ouya, the GameStick is a portable console rather than a home console.
While some may argue that these 2 consoles serve a different market, I would like to point out that GameStick has set the same release date the Ouya has, and that both will run off an HDTV, portability aside. Making the two products direct competition just with different selling points.
I’ve done a bit of research and I will compare both and leave my comments on them:
|Release Date||Apr-13 (Retail)||Mar-13 (Pre-order), Apr-13 (Retail)|
|User Input||Wireless Controller||Wireless Controller|
|Power Input||HDMI Port||Separate power adapter|
Basically the Gamestick is the console at the lower price-point, that can run without any external power! The GameStick uses MHL to power itself through the TV’s HDMI, but this is only an option if your TV supports it (which many HDTVs won’t), otherwise you will need to power the device using the Mini USB port. Both devices will arrive in the same month with the pre-orders of the Ouya coming in a month early.
|CPU||Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9||Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9|
|GPU||Mali-400 MP/MP2||Tegra 3 T33|
|RAM||1 GB||1 GB|
|Storage||8 GB||8 GB|
|USB||Mini USB (2.0)||USB 2.0|
|Connectivity||Wifi (B/G/N), Bluetooth 4||Wifi (B/G/N), Bluetooth 4, Ethernet|
The RAM and Storage capacities are the same on both consoles despite the different form factors. The gamestick lacks Ethernet connectivity (probably due to its small size).
Now on to the processing power, this was quite tough for me to find resources on since I’m not at level where I’m technically capable to dissect both devices, but based on the specs I tried to find the closest devices that were benchmarked. Based on my findings the Ouya roughly has the advantage with the stronger CPU and almost on-par GPU (The GameStick is similar to the Galaxy S II, while the Ouya is similar to the HTC One X+ which is what I used to make my analysis). Both of these devices will most probably run on max performance with no regard to power saving features since they are not powered by batteries.
Remember, in the end these devices are not running on chips meant for high-end gaming, so keep your expectations of your 79-99$ in check! Performance will be extremely similar to a high end tablet or phone at most. Also don’t expect any AAA PC or console ports on these devices, as they lack the software and hardware capacity for that.
A video that has recently surfaced with the Ouya running a 2D game, was described by YouTubers as a “5 million dollar flash game”. Albeit the YT exaggerations, I would say its horrid PR to have your console gameplay premiere be a casual looking game especially when your console’s processing capabilities are shrouded in mystery and in question. Imagine if the first game shown off on the PS3 was Retro City Rampage (Which is by NO means a bad game, simply a simple looking game to the eye).
According to Nvidia’s tegra road map, by the start of 2013 they plan to release a new Tegra chip that is 6 times faster than the one in the Ouya! So expect much fiercer Android gaming console competition to crop up.
I wanted to lastly mention that software support is critical for the success of a device, more so than it’s hardware. The Ouya in my opinion currently takes lead in this, as it had a headstart and the support of major companies such as SquareEnix. The Ouya also uses the Nvidia Tegra, which allows for a flock of support from Nvidia and it’s affiliates.
I have shown this in my other post, but once again, the expected power for the Ouya would be similar to this demo reel:
Update: what a surprise! Nvidia announced the new Tegra (Tegra 4) in it’s own portable android device!
Update 2: Here are the Ouya benchmark results which support the arguments aboveSources: Engadged, Wiki (Ouya), Wiki (Tegra 3), Wiki (Mali)