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  1. The past few weeks have not been that great for Mad Catz. With Rock Band 4 not making as much money as they would like, the company has fired 37% of their staff as well as having a number of CEOs leaving the company. It's safe to say that Mad Catz is having to rework themselves from the ground up and that it will truly be an uphill battle for them. For everyone who is around my age, teenagers when the PS2, GC and original XBOX were the dominant systems, we knew Mad Catz as the company that made cheap controllers and memory cards. We would end up with these peripherals out of curiosity at first, then because our parents didn't want to buy expensive first party accessories. Mad Catz was one of the companies that we were aware of, and the reason why we knew to always buy first party products for our gaming consoles. Mad Catz has seen some good news since those days. Being commissioned to design and manufacture the Rock Band instruments was good for them, even though Red Octane had the superior instruments. However, the Street Fighter IV arcade sticks are what started turning the brand around. On the PC side, the RAT family of mice became their award winning devices that spawned 12 different versions of the mouse. Mad Catz also acquired Tritton for their audio technology as well as Saitek for simulation peripherals. More than likely you've seen Saitek's line of joysticks, rudder pedals and farming equipment if you were interested in Flight Simulation, Star Citizen, and Elite: Dangerous. Despite all of this, it's clear that Mad Catz's current plan is not working. Being the kind of person that I am, I wanted to know why. What I came up with are four reasons why Mad Catz is in trouble: Inherited mistrust of the brand (covered earlier)Impression of quantity over qualityQuality Assurance testing of their prodcutsGloss ( Their cheap plastic is terrible, terrible stuff ) Instead of talking about each point and making this post longer than it should be, let's sum the problems with Mad Catz with a simple device that is quite a big flop. The Mad Catz MOJO. The MOJO is a micro console. It has all the hardware of a top of the line cell phone packed into a little plastic box. The intention is to play games on the Android platform on your big screen TV. What's nice is that everything you purchased on your phone is available on the MOJO, you know, because you're using a Google account to log into the device as well as OUYA games and Nvidia's Tegra line of games ( The MOJO uses a Tegra 4 GPU ). Then, using the CTRLR controller you can spend your time gaming at home. It is a device made to showcase the best of mobile gaming, and the price was $250. Now don't think that it's too expensive as it is. While you can go into a number of cell phone stores and purchase a mobile device for $100, what you're actually doing is spending that $100 as a down payment. If you want to know the true value of your phone search for an 'unlocked' phone. You'll find the price to be around $600 - $800. As you make your payment on your phone over a one or two year plan, you actually end up paying $100 - $200 more for the phone than purchasing it outright. Alright, done with that tangent. So you spend your $250 for the MOJO ( $150 now ), and hook it up to your TV, log in, and go to Google Store. What happens is you don't have access to almost all games. They're invisible. When a developer makes a game they have to define what range of devices their game can be seen by. Most developers use the default settings from Google, which require a touch screen device. The MOJO, being a console, doesn't have a touch screen. Oops Working with MoDaCo, Mad Catz came up with a solution. Using a USB A-A cable, you have to connect the MOJO to your PC and root the device. This is a bit of a complicated procedure and requires about an extra hour of work. Rooting the device fools Android into thinking that the MOJO has a touch screen on it and will allow you to play games on the Google Store. But that's not all. While the CTRLR controller has a mode which allows you to simulate the use of a mouse, you are limited to only playing games in Landscape. If you were to try and play a portrait-mode game like Monument Valley, the MOJO zooms in on a portion of the screen, locks there, and can't scroll upwards to see the rest of the screen. Even if you set the orientation of the device to portrait, this doesn't solve the problem. Oops x2 What you end up with is a device that is fully compatible with the Android marketplace, after rooting, which works great with any kind of streaming apps available. But when looking at the device for gaming: it's complicated, unsupported, and makes some games unplayable. For a gaming console, that sounds terrible. So then, why did Mad Catz even release it in the first place? This is speculation, but I think it's because 2013 was the year when a lot of small entertainment devices were picking up in popularity. In 2013 we had other small devices such as: Shield Portable, Roku 3, Apple TV, Chromecast, and the OUYA gaming console to name the popular ones. With all of the miniature entertainment devices growing in demand, I would make the huge guess that Mad Catz wanted to push a device out that would be able to compete with other devices and get into the market. In a way of saying, planning on a device to make money rather than try to make it stand out and be the best possible device for a growing market. Oops x3 ( maybe ) So what could have been fixed? The MOJO could have had the time put in to make it compatible with all of the apps on Google Play before releasing. That's the big problem with the device that should have been planned on, and fixed before even releasing a 'gaming' console. In comparison, Nvidia designed the Shield Portable with a touch screen to get around these limitations and added a Mini-HDMI cable to play on the big screen. Nvidia proactively made a solution to a problem, Mad Catz made a problem by rushing the development and had to find a solution that is much more complicated to the user. The MOJO is not the only device to have these oversights happen. If you want to see other products plagued with poor QA, check out the $300 LYNX controller and the STRIKE 7 keyboard. (( I own a STRIKE 7 and it is the best keyboard ever made. But it also was abandoned not making the cool features accessible to buyers. )) To fix the problems that Mad Catz is going through is pretty simple: Take time to build devicesFix any shortcomings before releaseStop making 5-12 different version of the same deviceGo with Matt finishes. That gloss you use is terrible What do you think?