First there was the Angry Birds craze, then there was the Flappy Bird craze. Most of us like our mobile games and like to play games every once in a while. Even though the gaming experience on mobile devices are fun, gamers always wish they could play the same game on a larger screen with better controls.
Pune based startup 18th Parallel has developed a middleware software platform, called Cannonball, that will convert any Android set-top-box or smart TV into gaming consoles, allowing users to play stock Android games using their gamepads.
“A product at the intersection of Android and console gaming was something that not only appealed to the inner geek in us but also clearly fit in well with our core mission,” says Nishith Shah, Cofounder and CEO of 18th Parallel.
The platform was launched as an OEM partnership with MiiPC, an Android based: all-in-one device, at CES in Las Vegas in January 2014. Now MiiPC users can play popular games like Temple Run and Jetpack Joyride and 100 other Android games using gamepads on their TV.
The angel funded company is already in talks with Indian service providers and consumer electronics OEMs to integrate Cannonball into devices for the Indian market. “We are in various stages of evaluations and discussions with multiple service providers and consumer device OEMs in the US, Europe and India,” adds Nishith. Earlier in January this year, Reliance Jio Infocomm demoed Jio Television, its soon to be launched set-top box running on Android.
Even though there are devices currently available in the market, like the Samsung Smart TV or an Android mini-PC, the gaming experience is limited as they do not support features like controllers or gamepads.
Cannonball supports traditional game controllers from manufacturers like Logitech, Microsoft and Sony, giving users better dexterity with game controls.
Ouya & GameStick are some of the famous international Android based game consoles and both these products were results of Kickstarter projects. Even though Ouya had some initial issues gaining traction the console is slowly increasing its market.
A very important aspect of these Android based devices are their price point. Even though they might not be able to match up to the graphic capabilities of thorough bred gaming consoles, which also costs more, anyone looking to have some good fun while playing games on a bigger TV will appreciate these devices. Even as far as game titles are concerned, they have a decent catalog and are priced much lower than their mainstream counterparts.
The 18th Parallel team consists of three co-founders, Nishith Shah (CEO), Hardik Belani (CTO) and Samir Patel (Director Engg).