Two completely separate stories joined together nicely this morning.
First was the news that Mario Kart 64 now runs on Android. I initially thought [a] it’s an official port and [b] therefore it’s an April fool. But I installed and ran it perfectly on a HTC Sensation running ICS.
Then I got an email from MP4 Nation in Hong Kong offering their Herotab C8 Android Tablet for $89. Yes, that’s €66 for a 7″ multi-touch capacitive screen tablet with 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, Wifi, HDMI, USB, USB OTG, microSD, 1.2GHz CPU and (sadly) Android 2.3.
Now this tablet is entirely generic and they even warn that it will probably have cosmetic nicks and marks on the body but it’s €66!
My daughter was looking at the Nintendo 3DS in the Argos catalogue yesterday and it was €182. As for the PS Vita pricing, are they all on crystal meth in Sony? Not a hope.
Which do you think your kids are going to go for? An overpriced clunky web-clueless 20th century device with games that cost upwards of €44 a pop. Or a web-enabled handheld computer with hundreds of thousands of apps and games where most cost less than €5?
The perfect example of this is Scribblenauts which is €21 on DS and 79c on iPad. None of our kids play it on DS any more, as the 10″ screen on the iPad blows it away for playability. Yeah yeah I know Scribblenauts isn’t on Android yet. But you get the point.
I know they won’t do it, as they (like Apple), make a profit on their hardware, but at some point Nintendo is going to have to bite the bullet. The Sony Experia Play is the sort of thing they should be looking at but for a younger audience and with really great gaming controls.
It’s time for the Nintendo Andro-DS. It would offer the absolute best playability for DS games. They might go the route of locking the games so that they only play on their Android device and they also give owners access to the full standard Android market. But if they were really brave they would make the games available on all Android devices for €4.99 each. They should still make an Andro-DS as it would be the best way of playing the games.
Scribblenauts has sold 1m units on iPad. Mario Kart Andro-DS would sell 20m units easy.
Back to that el-cheapo tablet. Android 2.3 is horrible on tablets so it really needs to have ICS before I’d consider it, no matter how cheap. There are some community ROMs out there but they all look very early-stage. If I could be sure ICS was coming, it is a no-brainer at that price. Still I’m very tempted to take a flutter as it’s a 1-day deal only.