Mad Catz has released a firmware update for its MOJO microconsole that enables Ultra HD video output for the first time, although it does come with a 70Mb/s bitrate limitation and support for a maximum of 30fps playback.
Unveiled back in June 2013
and open for pre-ordering in October that year
, the Mad Catz MOJO was perceived as being largely a response to the success of rival microconsole Ouya's Kickstarter campaign
. While the Ouya would struggle at launch, however, Mad Catz has been pushing its own device heavily with partnerships with OnLive
and now even Ouya itself via the company's recently-launched games subscription service.
The most recent firmware update for Mad Catz' Android-powered MOJO microconsole sets its apart from the competition, unlocking the previously dormant ability of its Nvidia Tegra 4 system-on-chip (SoC) processor to play back Ultra HD content. Also known as quad-full-HD (QFHD) and consumer 4K - being a 16:9 variant of the 17:9 DCI 4K resolution - Ultra HD offers the same number of pixels as four 1080p displays. The cost of these Ultra HD displays continues to drop, but devices that can output at the full resolution have been thin on the ground.
Officially, the 4K support in the freshly-updated MOJO is limited to 30 frames per second and 20Mb/s data rates. Unofficially, Mad Catz' internal testing using the MX Player Android app showed that video playback began to drop frames only when bitrates exceeded 70Mb/s. In addition to true Ultra HD video playback, the MOJO has gained the ability to upscale existing content to the output resolution - including games. Whether the quality of said upscaling is any better, or even any different, to that performed by the upscaler built into all Ultra HD displays remains to be seen. User interfaces also benefit from the increased resolution, allowing apps like Netflix and YouTube to display more items on-screen at any given time.
The firmware upgrade has been released this week to all MOJO microconsole owners.