Video update from the good people at Machinima. Kovic and Bruce talk Google making a game console, and what the future holds for hardware. Xbox one and PS4 might not be the one video hardware you need this year.

A New challenger has appeared

Google gaming fix? The Wall Street Journal has stated that Google is working on a smartwatch and a gaming console. Both a console and a watch would be a move to undercut rival Apple, which is widely expected to roll out its own smartwatch and is reportedly planning to add gaming as part of the next iteration of its Apple TV product.

An Android gaming console should add some heat under the OUYA feet as well. The release of OUYA, a $99, open-platform console that runs on a version of the Google operating system. After raising $8 million on Kickstarter, OUYA went on sale to the public on Wednesday. Demand for the new console appears to be strong; it was sold out on Amazon in the first week of sales.

 

GameStick is a new U.K.-based casual-gaming company PlayJam has a tiny, plug-and-play…well GameStick that was released in July for $20 less than the $99 Ouya, which has been trickling out to customers who preordered it, but is still a little rough around the edges, particularly in terms of its interface.

 

OYUA is one one the top android gaming platforms. When it launched on Kickstarter and went on to raise over $8.5 million in crowdsourced funding, the Ouya was heralded as the next revolution in gaming — an inexpensive, Android-based platform where every game is free to try. It’s a compelling concept, but the resulting product is decidedly not. I my self was even hoping to do some developing for this new revolution gaming system.  For all of its promise, the Ouya falls victim to design missteps, poor performance, and a critical lack of compelling content. Even with its $99 price point and the potential to improve, the product as it exists today misses the mark.

 

Steam Box is Valve-developed hardware that has yet to be unveiled. According to Valve co-founder Gabe Newell the Steam Box will be distributed entirely by Valve.

The Steam Box will also be a server. Any PC can serve multiple monitors, so over time, the next-generation (post-Kepler) you can have one GPU that’s serving up eight simultaneous game calls. So you could have one PC and eight televisions and eight controllers and everybody getting great performance out of it. We’re used to having one monitor, or two monitors — now there saying lets expand that a little bit.

Valve has a very successful digital distribution platform with Steam and has become extremely interested in expanding its reach. The Big Picture mode is part of the process, which gives Steam a facelift and makes it more gamepad-friendly for use on a big TV in the living room. The Steam Box is the next step, merging interface with hardware and, at least in theory, letting Valve reach customers who’d normally be scared of more traditional PC gaming. This sounds like a great opportunity for steam gaming I never really liked PC gaming for single player games, but always missed out on great mods and other goodies the PC had to offer. With an idea like this Steam will be taking much more of my money.

 

Gamepop is a new console that will play both android and IOS games. BlueStacks is apparently prepared to offer you just that in its GamePop game console, which costs nothing for the month of May with a one-year subscription to the service (wouldn’t you know it, that costs $93.83 — just below the price of an OUYA at retail). Like its counterparts, the GamePop is powered by Android (4.2) and runs mostly mobile games. However this new system will be able to run IOS games as well and with the apple have a larger amount of mobile games. This could make the GamePop a better gaming console then the OUYA.

 

Oculus VR  is one of the biggeist changes to gaming hardware since dualshock. This product made its dabiew show on kickster rasing over 2 million in crowd funding. They are now using Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 to demo its Rift headset. Specifically, the company is showing players the lava and snow demo that debuted in videos in late March. Wearing the standard-definition headset (similar to the one shown at CES, but with an extra top strap for added comfort), it seemed like you should be able to catch a snowflake with an open mouth when you looked up at the virtual sky.

It’s that real-looking, and when you put on the brand new prototype HD Oculus Rift that sensation was only heightened.

Oculus Rift is incredibly immersive, and part of that is thanks to its true stereoscopic 3D. The two screens inside the goggles become extensions of your own eyeballs, and your brain quickly adapts to the point that you’ll raise your arm and expect to see them in the game world. You can truly sense the world’s depth, and despite knowing it’s an illusion it feels very real.

 

Nivida Shield is Nividas first atemp at handheld/gaming console. So the Nvidia Shield is a superb, state-of-the-art handheld product – the most powerful Android hardware on the market right now – integrated into a beautifully built controller that ranks alongside the Xbox 360 pad in terms of ergonomics and response, while exceeding it in terms of the quality and feel of the materials. Shield isn’t perfect, but for a first attempt at a handheld console from a firm known for graphics technology, it’s a stand-out effort. If Steam and Nivida could combine their products into something well EPIC that would be the most played console of this new year. Still a PC hardware company making a video game console, I do believe that we should be keeping a close eye on Nivida and it’s future work.
Well it’s just safe to say there are a lot of hardware changes happening in the gaming world this upcoming year. I for one can’t wait to get my hands on some of this new hardware and see first hand how innovative these companies ideas are.