Green Throttle Games has officially launched Arena, a free platform for Android users that allows you to connect an Android tablet or smartphone to your TV with an HDMI cord and play games on the big screen using the wireless Atlas controller for multiplayer options. The app is targeted towards the casual gamer that may not want to purchase a costly console. Arena allows gamers to play Android software from the living room without any excess setup time or updates.
Arena is free to download on Google Play and Amazon, and can be used on most Android smartphones and tablets. Once Arena is downloaded to your device, connecting it to the TV with an HDMI cable allows users to start playing on the big screen. The Arena interface is an attractive display that resembles Steam and X-box Live, allowing users to select the game they want to play and download new ones.
Gamers have the option of either continuing to use the touchscreen as a controller or purchasing the custom Atlas controller, an Xbox-looking analog Bluetooth Android controller that provides automatic multiplayer support for up to four players. The controller is designed to make gameplay feel exactly like a console so that use of the touchscreen isn't required at all. The vision of Charles Huang, Green Throttle co-founder and former Guitar Hero co-creator, is to have Android supplant Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo as the primary living room game system.
Currently, Arena only has a handful of compatible games. These include modern riffs on classic games such as "Coral Combat", a "Space Invaders" port, and "Crystal Swarm", a "Robotron" port. Green Throttle is reportedly working on a solution to the limited games library. They've hired Hungry Moose Games, a Canadian game studio founded by former BioWare developers to create "9 Lives: Casey and Sphynx" the first free Android game specifically designed to be played with Arena on the TV. There are also some promising hardcore games that have been announced which would bring shooters like 'Duke Nukem 3D' and RPGs like 'The Bard's Tale' to Arena.
Whether casual gamers will take to Arena and if hardcore gamers can be lured over is still up in the air, but so far the future looks promising for Green Throttle.
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