The GEM Box micro-console is great, though it's a contrition micro-consoles are dead

I met with Emtec, a developers of a GEM (Gaming-Entertainment-Multimedia) Box yesterday, during Devolver’s indie parking lot opposite a travel from a Los Angeles Convention Center. It’s a small Android micro-console designed for affordable, unstable gaming. Gotta say, we don’t feel good essay this.

The GEM Box uses a heavily skinned chronicle of Android and comes with a wireless controller that functions as a twin analog gamepad, and a rodent and calm submit device (with a switch to change between a two). It can play Android games, bucket classical diversion emulators (use of ROMs is not condoned and legalities of their use are blah blah blah), and facilities a GameFly Streaming use in further to internal PC diversion streaming formed on Nvidia’s GameStream technology.

It seems like a decent device. Not fancy, and not too expensive, usually environment we back $99 and includes a controller. It’s intensely stretchable in terms of what accurately we can do with it. It’s a contrition it substantially won’t go anywhere. It’s not Emtec’s fault, outward of a really preference to recover an Android-based micro-console in 2016. It’s only how gaming has settled.

A few years ago, we would have been vehement about a GEM Box. A elementary Android device we can block into your radio and bucket whatever emulators (legal disclaimer blink cough) and any other arrange of media expenditure app we want? Bluetooth and a ability to use a gamepad, mouse, or keyboard? Tiny and mud cheap? That’s overwhelming — yet afterwards all those consoles expelled and we schooled a excitement, yet honorable, was misplaced.

First, a Ouya released and left a remarkably green ambience in a mouths of all gamers, interjection to a terrible controller and dumb pattern flaws (for instance, carrying to spin a console on a side to get correct cooling). Then, some other, some-more desirous micro-consoles trickled in, like a Mad Catz MOJO and a Nvidia Shield Android TV (and, while it never held on, a original Nvidia Shield was an extraordinary handheld). Even a long-awaited PlayStation TV, that was a good small device, could be found during GameStop for $20 a year after recover since no one besides me and a small race of North American Vita lovers wanted them.

There isn’t anything wrong with these inclination (the controversial value of Android gaming notwithstanding), yet they went nowhere. As good as inexpensive systems we can play Android and emulator games on sounds, there isn’t a place for them in a market. We have phones, we have tablets, and we have a PC, that stays a many absolute and stretchable diversion height ever.

Android consoles sound good to cheap, tech-savvy gamers, yet they never vessel out. There hasn’t been a micro-console that make it big, and we don’t feel good about that unintended pun. Even a PlayStation TV, which, again, is a good small device and corroborated by a gaming giant, didn’t vessel out. The cost and a distance are right, yet micro-consoles can’t clear their existence since a best games we can play on them are already old, and possibly mud inexpensive or giveaway on your PC or mobile device. We all adore classical games, yet we all have ways to play them already. Unless we have a strange hardware and are a gaming historian (and even then, we competence only be crazy), there’s no reason to use adult another HDMI pier on your radio to play games we can play 5 other ways.


Micro-consoles are useful on paper, yet they don’t offer anything special when each other approach to diversion is possibly useful over gaming (PCs, smartphones, tablets), or have some specific, honestly disdainful calm to suffer (consoles). The GEM Box, like a Ouya, a MOJO, a Shield, and a PS TV, have neither. So, they’ll only sojourn inexpensive, clearly useful inclination that fundamentally collect dirt and are forgotten, regardless of how sleek, cheap, and arguable they are.

The GEM Box is a excellent device, yet it exists in a wrong time.

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