It seems a week doesn’t go by without another doomer-and-gloomer reporting facts and figures that try to infer console gaming is dying a slow death. There’s no denying the popularity of touch-screen gaming and the like has exploded in recent years, while services like OnLive remove our reliance on consoles in favour of cloud computing. Start-up Green Throttle Games, meanwhile, hopes a console-less future will come in another form: namely, our smartphones and tablets.
Bringing ‘proper’ games to touch-screen devices isn’t anything new (clip-on gaming controllers for everything from iPhone to Android’s best are common suspects), but Green Throttle Games has something else in mind entirely. Led by a team of a surprisingly strong pedigree - including Charles Huang (co-founder of Red Octane), Matt Crowley (product lead for Palm and Nokia) and Karl Townsend (lead engineer for the first two generations of the Palm Pilot) – the company has already secured $6 million in series A funding and has a clear plan in its hand.
Green Throttle is promising to ‘unlock’ the potential within our smartphones and tablets, harnessing the now quite considerable power found in the latest and greatest mobile devices to allow gamers to play titles as found in the Google Play store on the big screen. Looking non-too-dissimilar to a certain Xbox 360 controller, its proprietary Bluetooth controller, the ‘Atlas’ (already on sale), offers full analogue control and that same “console-level precision” we’d expect from Green Throttle Games’ console counterparts. Whether it’ll be able to replicate the kind of quality coming from a dedicated box of gaming goodness is unclear, as is the way Green Throttle will market its products. With Ouya on the horizon, a couple of big publishing deals on Throttle’s side wouldn’t go amiss – perhaps a medium-sized budget game built specifically for the console?
Still, the names behind the scenes are a good enough reason to be extremely excited by what Throttle has in store. “It is time to think of mobile games in a whole new way,” reports the company on its website. “Green Throttle, games re-imagined.”