The last time I checked, smartphones with HDMI out were rather expensive (>> $100) and didn't work with control pads (I never really cared about smartphones though, so this may have changed). Expecting it to outperform a PS3 or Xbox 360 is asking rather a lot - those are sold at a loss, with money being made back on the games.
Think about it a little longer before you discount it. It's a games console that's very cheap and comes with a lot of free games. Android is a popular platform and this would give people without much money or technical know-how (we're all pretty clued up on this forum) a chance to play well-known, modern games.
I can afford an Xbox 360, but I'd rather get one of these - the ability to hack it sounds fun, and it would give me a chance to play with Android - what's not to like?
Indeed. This has changed. Any device with bluetooth has always supported bluetooth game controllers. It's simply that there was no input API (Direct Input, SDL, or whatever the iOS API happens to be). Both this and the cost associated with the device has changed. In addition, my iPhone was $100... Plus a 2 year commitment, at a reduced rate (saves $20/month) due to the bundling under my Verizon "OnePay" FIOS/Wireless household plan. I know it's complicated, but you get the point that it isn't as expensive as it seems.The last time I checked, smartphones with HDMI out were rather expensive (>> $100) and didn't work with control pads (I never really cared about smartphones though, so this may have changed)
Now if only we could see some of these things get reviewed...
What do they gain by this? They likely get chance to set the gold standard for console ports to the PC, since the hardware is the same you can get on any computer. It also potentially puts a huge dent in Nvidia's sponsoring of games as well as the adoption of PhysX and CUDA in the gaming market.
The others are various types of developer boards that can and are used to make all kinds of interesting bits of hardware.