Guitar Hero co-creator Charles Huang wants to prove that you already have a console in your pocket.
If you've been paying attention to mobile gaming lately, you may have heard the occasional concern that it's killing the traditional console industry. The fear is that as smartphones and their high-quality, low-cost games increase in popularity, there will be a subsequent decrease of interest in a television-based console experience. Only time will tell how accurate the fears are, but Guitar Hero co-creator Charles Huang is upping the ante by literally replacing consoles with smartphones. His new company, Green Throttle Games, will attempt to bridge mobile and console experiences by turning your Android-powered device into an HDTV console.
"Mobile gaming is exploding, and new smart devices are becoming powerful alternatives to traditional consoles," Huang explained. "We just need a simple and fun way for people to play games both on the go, and on the couch ... Our mission is to create great game experiences that bring people together, a big screen experience where you can just start playing games on a television, as simple as that."
Green Throttle, founded by Huang with mobile industry veterans Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend, will integrate Android and console gaming using a simple cable connection. The Green Throttle Arena App will act as a central hub for players to download games with the option of projecting compatible titles onto the larger television screen. The app will even allow for local multiplayer sessions through the use of proprietary Bluetooth-powered controllers. "The big idea is you've already bought a console," said co-founder Karl Townsend. "It's in your pocket. It's a smartphone."
The concept of bringing Android games to your television isn't an original one; you may have already recognized it from the Ouya Kickstarter pitch last summer. The major difference in this case is that Green Throttle will run using the smartphone you already own without the requirement of an independent console. It's a unique idea that just might work, if Green Throttle can provide high-quality games to match the sales pitch.
That said, you'll still have to shell out a chunk of change to play Green Throttle games with your friends. A Multiplayer Bundle pre-order, including two controllers and a connector kit, is available for the price of $89.95. While that's not a small amount of money, one should note that a Wii U priced below production costs will still cost $300. Green Throttle should be competitively priced to compete with consoles, it just remains to be seen how the two experiences will compare to each other.