Affordable, portable, tools for the not-so-serious gamer are here -- doubling up as web browser, phone and tablet.
January 19 2014: There are the hard core gamers who spend endless hours exploring, playing and mastering games, collaborating with fellow gamers located around the world, dousing their high end PCs with liquid nitrogen to turn down the heat and over-clock the CPU.
And then there is ‘the rest of us’ who dabble in gaming as a pastime, a stress buster or just as a weekend activity. We can't afford to invest in a massive gaming setup. In any case we prefer to do our gaming while on the move, on trains, planes and buses. Recent weeks have offered some interesting options from an affordable portable gaming console to a phone and a tablet optimised for gamers.
We look at three value-for-money offerings:
A Smartphone armed with a joystick
The Mitashi Play Thunderbolt manages to combine a gaming console with smartphone functions
Mitashi has launched the Play Thunderbolt, a gamers’ smartphone. The heavy metal body of 300 grams with a joystick ( actually a small trackball) and six dedicated game control buttons on the body makes this device more a gaming console than smart phone. The picture quality is crisp and clear on the 12.7 cm screen with 1280 x 720p HD IPS display. Featuring a 1.2 GHz processor with a PowerVR SGX 554 Mhz GPU, the phone offers a smooth gaming experience. The 4200 mAH battery ensures long, uninterrupted hours of play. The dual speakers on the rear of the Play Thunderbolt will not disappoint you during those hard-core, noise making games.
Phone-wise, Play Thunderbolt is no slouch: with dual-SIM slots that support 3G video calling. It comes with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal memory, which is expandable up to 64 GB. It runs on the Android v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) OS and comes pre-loaded with few apps like Hike, Instagram, Viber, etc. The smartphone features a 2 megapixel front camera and 8 megapixel rear camera with LED Flash. For gamers who want full phone features on the same device this is a good if some-what bulky solution -- and at 12,990, it won't bust your budget.
An entry-level console
This Android based device is ideal for first timers or casual gamers
Mitashi has just launched the GameIN ThunderPro Quad-core console, an Android based gaming device. The console has 1 GB RAM, 1.6 GHz processor with quad-core Mali 400 MHz GPU, which is fully compatible with APK and 3D games. It also supports 8/16/32 Bit games.
The dual joystick and trigger buttons on the both sides of its body allow easy maneuvering for multiple gaming functions and dual speakers to get sound effects loud and clear. With HDMI connectivity, the GameIN ThunderPro lets you connect and play on larger screens. You can also enjoy wireless gaming with the WiFi Miracast feature . The 8 GB internal memory seems just enough for storage. It also comes pre-loaded with a few games from Electronic Arts.
Running on Android Kitkat OS, this device usefully allows you to check mails, access YouTube and surf the Web. Ideal for the first timers or casual gamers, the GameIN ThunderPro is a budget friendly console that is priced at Rs.9, 990
Octa-core tablet for HD games
A 3G-calling tablet with beefed up graphics
Having put an 8-core chip under the hood of a 7-inch tablet for the first time in India, iBall has cannily decided to deliver more bang for the buck, by optimising the device for gaming. This means beefing up the RAM memory to 2 GB, and the storage to 16 GB, enhancing the display to 1920 by 1200 pixels which is just a whisker shy of full HD, and adding a graphics core.
Tab-wise the iBall Slide A41, is an Android Kitkat platform, well fitted out with 8 MP( autofocus, flash) and 5MP cameras, 3G microSIM slot, FM radio and GPS. You can also use the USB slot for Internet connectivity.
For a tablet which touts its gaming prowess, iBall has surprisingly provided just one full game: Asphalt 7 Heat, leaving it to the user to download more from Google Play. But recognizing that all gamers are not comfortable with English, the tablet includes 19 Indian language support. For Rs 14,999 this would be a good tablet deal. The game-oriented extra specs are a bonus. - Vishnu Anand & V Sudhakshina