A surprising and interesting element to the burgeoning indie gaming community is the console market, which indies seem to be storming, too. Not console games, mind you, but actual consoles. After the OUYA rising, it seems like Xbox, Playstation and Wii aren’t the only warriors in the arena.
The first one I will discuss is one being crowd-funded on IndieGoGo which is, coincidentally, called INDIEGO, a console that sounds like it wants the every single piece of the market pie as it plans on running games everywhere from Linux to Amiga to modern indie titles and next-gen games. It encourages homebrew (making games for consoles from your own home – another interesting indie market I hope we get to writing about soon). It has, to be honest, limited potential at the moment, partly due to the fact that the console has 15 euros out of the 700,000 it wants. I guess we will see how it plays out.
Official site: http://www.indiego-gaming.com/
The next one I will talk about is called the GCWZero, an open source gaming handheld with great potential that has already met its funding goals and then some by the time the campaign ended on January 28th (2013). The handheld runs Linux, leaving lots of software and content right out of the box. You are encouraged to screw around with the software it is based on as well as run any applications that you want. This makes it very versatile and you will likely be able to do more than just play Doom or casual games.
Official site: http://www.gcw-zero.com/
Unfortunately, not all crowd-funding projects work out, which might not really be a bad thing in the long run. The Indie Console is an open console that sounds like a more professionally presented version of INDIEGO. Unfortunately, it wasn’t funded back in June, 2012, and so the project was put aside as a small side project.
Kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/drmikey/the-indie-console?ref=search
On the other hand, some make huge money with their campaigns. The GameStick is both the controller and the console and can be plugged in with ease. It is neither expensive ($79) or big (you can carry it in your pocket very easily). It is once again an open console with the software being run by Android.
Official site: http://www.gamestick.tv/
There is also the mysterious PawByte console of which there is not much information besides these two pages so we will just have to see with this.
Blog post: http://pawbyte.com/viewblogpost.php?id=8
Official site: http://www.nextgen.pawbyte.com/
This sort of revolution is nice to see. We don’t know for sure if it will pay off yet because none were technically released to the public, but the future is also always in motion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nathan. He prefers his last name not to be known. He’s probably a high-class superspy, but we don’t mind. He is a writer at Independent Gaming. He’s our point man for interviews, and occasionally he takes a blowtorch to a game to see whether it measures up to his standards. Visit his game dev blog at http://wonderlandgamesblog.wordpress.com/