April 28, 2016
If you’ve launched a startup or have been watching HBO’s Silicon Valley, you are all too familiar with the struggle of the little guy versus the huge corporation. You know that acquiring capital, hiring employees and expanding your company in the face of one of these tech giants can be a mammoth undertaking worthy of stress medication. But every so often, one of those little guys beats the big corporation to the punch. This story of mobile gaming platform, AirConsole, going up against Apple to develop local smartphone-friendly multiplayer games is a perfect example of David taking down Goliath.
Yes, the new Apple TV has multiplayer gaming. But not only did AirConsole get it out first, they provided the most important feature of all: it’s free! You need a smartphone, a computer and an Internet connection and that is it.
The mobile gaming platform is as simple as it is amazing. All you have to do is go to their website on your computer, open the app or website on your smartphone, enter a simple code and boom: you have access to a library of hundreds of collaborative, competitive, explosive and insensitive multiplayer games on a big screen – and your phone is the controller. While many gamers understand the plight of unraveling hundreds of tangled cords, something this simple is unimaginable for some and revelatory for others.
“An average laptop will do. You won’t be able to play the newest AAA games with it, but that’s also not really what we’re all about,” said one of the developers on Reddit. “AirConsole is to play a few quick games with friends while having a beer. Think Mario Party. Except it’s really annoying to carry an N64 with 8 controllers (or a big gaming PC with 8 gamepads) somewhere, while AirConsole just needs a laptop or TV with a couple of smartphones, and you’re all good to play with as many people as you like.”
The games aren’t terrible. They are, however, quite dated. While this technology is understandably incredible, the low pixels, the limited range of gameplay and the overall 1980s-arcade vibe still make it a far cry from console gaming. But with nostalgia being a big part of gaming and AirConsole’s huge catalog of options, getting bored with friends is not going to happen.
N-Dream is the startup behind the remarkable mobile gaming technology. Based out of Zurich, Switzerland, they began development on the product in January 2015, releasing it later that year. They barely beat Apple to market, with the new Apple TV releasing in October of the same year. And while you haven’t heard news of Apple’s collapse or that four AirConsole stores will be popping up in your neighborhood in the next few weeks, a small victory is still a victory. And the little guys will take this one for all it’s worth.
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