Over the last two years smartphones have become dramatically more powerful. We’re starting to see phones with quad-core processors and multiple gigabytes of RAM, with a focus on the incredible gaming you can do on the HD screen included in these tiny glass slabs. A game console with a dedicated internet connection and access to all of your social networks is pretty much exactly what Sony and Microsoft have been reaching for recently.
GreenThrottle thinks that the only thing stopping you from using your phone as a console is a good controller and quality gaming titles.
Depending on what Android phone you have, all you really need to play some games on your TV from your phone is an HDMI or MHL cable. Being tethered to the TV is kind of a drag, though. If you have an iOS based product, you can use AirPlay on certain titles and play on your TV, but no matter what OS the list of supported titles is pretty slim. Ideally, you should be able to connect your phone to your TV and then sit back on the couch with a full sized controller, just like you would with an Xbox 360 or PS3. With Android, you can use USB support or Bluetooth to add a controllers to your smartphone or tablet. GreenThrottle’s solution is to give you a console quality Bluetooth controller and a store filled with games that will work with the controller natively.
Right now the display cable the GreenThrottle plans to include with the developer kits support four Android devices, and it doesn’t make any mention of whether or not the cable charges your phone while you play.
GreenThrottle’s controllers are similar in button layout to the Xbox 360 controller, with a few minor tweaks. Charles Huang, the CEO of GreenThrottle, is most recently known for his work as the co-creator of Guitar Hero through Red Octane. This means that gaming peripherals are clearly something he’s got a lot of experience with, but GreenThrottle’s goal of turning a smartphone into a console requires a lot more than just a nice controller.
Projects like GreenThrottle are exciting because they demonstrate how far smartphones have come in such a short time. Just the idea that these pocket-sized computers can even be perceived as the same thing as a game console speaks volumes to both the advancement of mobile technology and the current state of console hardware. As with most things, the success or failure of GreenThrottle will depend entirely on whether or not developers decide their game needs a cool controller to play. To help tip the scale, GreenThrottle will be developing several titles in house, but the rest will depend on support from the rest of the world.
Developers can pre-order controllers and access to the SDK (for their existing games or to build new titles) now. To get in on the developer program or see more about the product, check out their website.