Mobile games are all the rage right now, but given the option, would you really want to play Angry Birds on your television? Envizions Computer Entertainment Corporation is banking on yes, as it announced today the planned fall release of its EVO 2 console, which repackages Android for a significantly larger small screen.
A press release reveals that the console, which will retail for $249, contains a Samsung 1.2 GHz processor, 512 MB of DDR2 memory and a modified Android 2.2 operating system. The package will also include an EVO TV remote, a game controller and an HDMI cable, which is one more HDMI cable than any of the other currently available gaming consoles pack into the box. The company welcomes early adopters to step up and put down a pre-order, at the Envizions online store.
The EVO 2 is the first of its kind, a dedicated console that ports the mobile gaming experience to your TV. There will apparently be some kind of system in place by which players can earn points which can be converted (somehow) to EVO tokens. These tokens are then used to purchase “premium Android games [for] free.” The console will also ship with “game cloud storage” and the company’s Qquip SMS blogging reward service… whatever that is. Envizions also plans to add a 3D motion sensor later in the year.
Much like Android itself, the EVO 2 is identified as an “open console,” which means users can tweak the internal software components to their heart’s content. Envizions will also of course support the device with “new updates and upgrades” following the fall release. Developers can get a jump now, ordering a free console dev kit to work with provided they’re will to commit to an annual $149 support fee for each.
The question is, is this really necessary? The principal appeal of mobile gaming is the mobility. Angry Birds is damn fine fine, but is it something you can see yourself sitting down on the couch for to play through your TV? Perhaps a dedicated console and a proper gamepad will inspire developers to work on more console-style Android games. But again… why? Mobile graphics processors are plenty impressive, but again, it’s because they look good on the go. if you’re sitting down to game on your TV, would you rather play the latest Gangstar or the latest Grand Theft Auto? The $249 price point puts the EVO 2 in line with current-gen consoles, but the games it can potentially offer — at least with regards to what Android gaming has delivered thus far — can’t hope to compete on the same level as your average Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 release.