Wonder, The Android-Based Nintendo Switch Competitor, Announced

Prans May 16, 2018.



    If you haven't heard of Wonder before, don't worry, neither have I!

    This cryptic new device comes from a secretive tech startup of the same name based in Los Angeles. Unlike gaming smartphones like the Red Magic or the Black Shark or even the Android-powered OUYA home console, the Wonder plans to be something different, somewhat bridging the two...

    Their eventual product will consist of a smartphone, dock, controller, and access to software services that will allow access to games and other media features. What about the Nintendo Switch competitor part? That has to do, as you might have guessed, with the dock. The latter will allow gamers to enjoy their game on big screens by placing the smartphone into the dedicated slot on the controller. While Android-based, the smartphone will run a custom version, called WonderOS, allowing the company to overclock the phone’s graphics processor to beam the display to a television when docked, à la Nintendo Switch.

    The Verge had an exclusive first look at a prototype of the device and described it as "what looks like a standard Android smartphone [...], sleek, square cornered, and sports a massive screen". Unfortunately, no pictures were available at the time of writing.

    The company has quite the ambitious vision for its product, hoping that the Wonder device "will be the centerpiece of an entertainment ecosystem for gamers and gadget heads who are fans of forward-looking tech".

    However, with all that has been revealed, there is still a lot of information missing about this ambitious device. For one, it does not even have an official name. No news about the device's and services' cost whatsoever nor did they reveal the specs of the phone itself. What we do know is that Wonder is on track to come out next year.

    Andy Kleinman, the CEO and co-founder of secretive startup Wonder, further adds that the phone might not even be developed and branded by Wonder either. “We’re talking with companies that are making high-end flagships about putting out software on them, similar to Roku,” he says, speaking to The Verge. “It’s more like an OS, which is why we can’t say that anyone with a smartphone can do this. There are still ways that we can have other devices be Wonder-enabled and there are certain threshold of specs that you have to have.”

    “The Switch did a really good job starting with the idea of portability, but there’s a lot of limitations on the Switch,” he says. "With Wonder, think about building a portable gaming and entertainment type platform that can deliver any type of game.”

    Kleinman says further added that his team has been in talks with Valve about Steam support and game streaming. With the recent announcement of the upcoming Steam Link app which will allow gamers to stream their Steam library games to any smarthphone running the app, this might entice a wider audience. In the interview with The Verge, Kleinman said that his team is in talks with game developers about making Wonder-optimized versions of console and PC titles that run on Android and support both controller and touchscreen play.

    As such, rather than being an actual hardware, Wonder aims to build a mobile-console hybrid gaming ecosystem that is potentially not restricted to one hardware manufacturer but available to Wonder-ready devices that suits the user's needs and unleash further power with its peripherals.

    “What we’re doing is not super hard. We’re not trying to create Magic Leap-style revolutionary tech nobody has ever seen,” Kleinman says confidently. “We’re just trying to put together a great experience, in the way Apple does it.”

    I wonder... is it reminiscent to the OUYA to you or do you think that the time has come for a true Android-based home console-handheld hybrid?

    :arrow: SOURCE
    Discussion (103 replies)
  1. LiveLatios

    LiveLatios Profesionnal Scalie

    Nov 16, 2015
    considering most android games are still touchscreen based with little to no controller support, this will probably fail as hard as every other android based console
  2. Hyborix3

    Hyborix3 Gabi

    Sep 12, 2009
    Switch? More like the OUYA competitor
  3. Veho

    Veho The man who cried "Ni".

    Former Staff
    Apr 4, 2006
    Isn't this more akin to the Nvidia Shield or Shield Tablet K1 than the Switch?
    damiano2712, xalphax, Riyaz and 4 others like this.
  4. Chary

    Chary Never sleeps.

    pip Senior Editor
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    Oct 2, 2012
    United States
    Just like the Ouya was!

  5. WiiUBricker

    WiiUBricker News Police

    Sep 19, 2009
    Android and Switch competitor in the same sentence is a joke.
    damiano2712, Alerdyy, Riyaz and 12 others like this.
  6. ShawnTRods

    ShawnTRods GBAtemp Psycho!

    Mar 26, 2011
    United Kingdom
    lol they come and go.
    Edgy_Edge likes this.
  7. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Apr 29, 2011
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    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    Oh please, gimme a break. :rolleyes:

    Another Android gaming device, we haven't had those before. :rofl:
    Last edited by the_randomizer, May 16, 2018
  8. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

    May 27, 2016
    United States
    New York
    The only way this could be good is if they made exclusive games that works WITH THE CONTROLLER! One of the reasons why I bought a ouya was cause it meant having a controller to play games, but the amount of games that actually interested me was very low that I only used it for playing emulators and maybe streaming media.

    Honestly I expected Nvidia shield to come out with a new model of some kind similar to the switch to replace the firs one which doesn't even have tegra x1 level of hardware. Hoping a shield portable 2 with better than tegra x1 comes out soon. :)
  9. Memoir

    Memoir Hi, I'm Cynical!

    Jun 24, 2007
    United States
    In the Murderbox!
    The phone slides into the controller? Is... Is this a joke?
  10. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    So are they planning on having the controller "dock" be tethered to the TV with a fat HDMI cable? Cause that would be really annoying.
    If they're actually using some form of high speed, low latency wireless screen transfer to a dongle connected to the TV though, that could actually be cool.
    I have a feeling this is going to fail just like the Ouya. Sure, it's better in many ways, but it's still held back by the fact that it runs Android, and the only high budget games you ever see for Android are ports of old games or microtransaction and ad laden dumbed down versions of popular genres with pretty graphics but no depth.
    KoalaBoy likes this.
  11. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft GBAtemp Addict

    Mar 8, 2012
    United States
    Buzzword Bingo, anyone? ("Overclocking" the GPU isn't needed for TV output, and a "custom" OS isn't needed for that, either.)

    EDIT: The original line from the linked article:
    The wording here doesn't imply that the overclocking is needed for TV out, but it still implies that a custom OS is needed for overclocking.
    Last edited by GerbilSoft, May 16, 2018
    KoalaBoy likes this.
  12. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    Burning money. I'm not even sad for them, they're treading into the same waters many other companies have before, with very much the same ideas, and the result will also be the same. This is not how you make a gaming phone/mobile device.
  13. weatMod

    weatMod GBAtemp Addict

    Aug 24, 2013
    United States
    wow what an appropriate name.....
    as in i WONDER how long it will take Gamevice to sue them or go the ITC to get their device banned from import:rofl2:
  14. kuwanger

    kuwanger GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Jul 26, 2006
    United States
    In the same boat--until my Ouya broke within a couple days. To me it was all about getting cheap, powerful android hardware. IIRC, I ended up getting an Android TV dongle afterwards (and even with a fan it overheats/reboots if I don't underclock it). Without more controller games, it's really not worth it for me to invest again in an android console. The only way that's happening is if Google pushes really hard for it (making controller or lack there of support prominent, including it as possible relevance in search order, etc) and probably provides updates on the Google Play store that make adding controller support a lot easier (as many games oddly lack it even when it's a good fit).

    The only reason Nintendo was able to make a tablet-like device is because they make a lot of games. Only another publisher really has any chance to do the same thing, but I doubt anyone wants to risk it--it's consistently turned bad for everyone whose went up against Nintendo in the handheld space.
  15. StarGazerTom

    StarGazerTom GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Feb 2, 2015
    *points and laughs* Look at that fucking controller! What retard designed that?! Looks fuck ugly!

    Switch competitor, please, more like an OUYA competitor, lmao!
    Bladexdsl likes this.
  16. KingVamp

    KingVamp Haaah-hahahaha!

    Sep 13, 2009
    United States
    Going to be a little less negative and just wait to see it in action. Even if successful, I doubt it is going to match up with the Switch, at least game wise.
  17. Prans

    Prans Geek, gamer, human

    pip Reporter
    Apr 22, 2012
    There itself.
    I found it odd as well but that's how it was described in the original piece. Maybe they are fans of the Dreamcast VMU...
    medoli900, NutymcNuty and Memoir like this.
  18. DarthDub

    DarthDub Amateur Hacker

    Jan 26, 2016
    United States
    Your mom's basement.
    This is going to bomb so hard.
  19. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Apr 29, 2011
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    Dr. Wahwee's castle
    Right, "competitor" gotcha.
    KoalaBoy and Bladexdsl like this.