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I recently found an app called DroidEmu which basically lets me play any GBA, GBC, GameGear, Genesis, Nes, or Snes game I want on my phone. I also discovered a way to connect PS3 controllers to my device so I can play those games with a physical controller.

This got me thinking; what would it take to turn my Android phone into a full-fledged TV-based gaming console? Is that even feasible right now? I know that's its fairly easy to connect Android devices to TVs using an HDMI adapter so that shouldn't be a problem, but what about native Android games that work with a controller, are there many of those? If so, are there any that support split-screen gaming with multiple controllers or online/lan-based multiplayer? What are the chances of this situation improving in the near future?

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Nice idea, now I think about it, too.

I found a little list here (please feel free to edit/add):

  • GTA3
  • Muffin Knight
  • Pool Break
  • Riptide GP
  • ShadowGun
  • Shine Runner
  • Sonic CD
  • Soulcraft THD

If I find some time, I will add controller support to my game Orc Genocide. ATM, it's playable head-on-head with multitouch (useless for TV, but awesome for tablets). I will let you know.

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Yes, it's perfectly feasible. I know some people who've been doing exactly that with a Samsung Galaxy S II for more than a year: using a Bluetooth game pad to control it and MHL to connect to their living-room TV.

Console emulators tend to support using two controllers for multi-player gaming, but there aren't that many Android games that support it, because it's still a tiny fraction of the Android gaming market. Even so, now there are a few popular Android devices specifically designed for use as a home games console, such as the Ouya, you can expect more and more games designed to be played this way.

You might even find that game designers start to use the support in 4.3 for having different output on the device screen and MHL, to end up with a WiiU-style game with one player playing on the touchscreen itself, and another using the TV screen and a Bluetooth game controller. If Chromecast or Miracast become more popular, they'll make that kind of two-screen play a lot more accessible to users, which also means they're a lot more attractive to developers.

  • About the Chromecast: I own one, and it has a noticeable lag (about 2s) that makes gaming impractical, to say the least. – That Brazilian Guy Apr 6 '14 at 15:40

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