New Android console eSfere goes up against Ouya, offers matching decorative vases as incentive


Ouya is no longer the only Android console vying for your attention – and funding pledges. Unlike its open-source competitor, though, which is courting bespoke projects, the eSfere focuses on making existing Android games playable on large-screen TVs.

It’s got a bit more grunt, too, with twice as much RAM and flash storage than the Ouya (2GB and 16GB, respectively), paired to the same Tegra3 quad-core CPU. Both will be capable of outputting at 1080p, too. The eSfere, however, comes in seven colours, includes a wireless controller with touchscreen and, most convincingly of all, a matching set of three decorative vases.

The console’s dome form-factor is considerably less attractive than the Yves Behar-designed Ouya, so perhaps offering the ability to disguise it as a vase is a savvy one. It can do more than just (try to) look pretty, though. The eSfere will be be capable of playing any one of the more than 500,000 apps on Google Play out of the box, as well as playing movies, providing access to the web and running “all sorts of productivity, education or leisure apps”.

For those who prefer more tactile interfaces, the controller’s touchpad can be augmented with detachable silicone buttons, applied directly to the screen in your chosen arrangement. A fiddly solution, sure, but not as fiddly as the task eSfere’s creator has set itself decorating its limited deluxe collector’s edition consoles with Swarovski crystals.

Its creators are hoping to raise $390,000 during its 41-day Indiegogo campaign, the video for which is below. Whether it can attract enough attention from backers, sitting as it is in the shadow of the more flexible, and better-backed, Ouya, is another matter entirely.