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Android game console runs on quad-core Cortex-A17

Nov 24, 2014 — by Eric Brown 2,620 views

Ugoos announced a “micro game console” spin-off of its Android-based quad-core Cortex-A17 UT3 media player, and released an Ubuntu 14.10 build for the UT3.

The Ugoos “G-box” micro game console appears to use the same design as the company’s Android-based, 4Kx4K ready UT3 media player, which sells for as low as $130. The G-box follows another similar, but OEM-focused UG-CX-998 media player with 4Kx2K resolution announced in September (see farther below).

UT3 enters production, adds Ubuntu and dual-boot options


Meanwhile, Ugoos is now shipping the UT3 Android mini-PC that we previewed in April, and has just released new version 2.0.4 firmware for device. The updated firmware now comes in three flavors: Android 4.4.2, Ubuntu 14.10, and a dual-boot version combining both OSes.

UT3, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

UT3 prototype mainboard
(click to enlarge)

The new firmware includes bug fixes and new features, including improved CPU load and temperature values notification, says Ugoos. The Ubuntu 14.10 build features the lightweight XFCE graphical environment, and includes applications such as Mplayer, Firefox, Gmusicbrowser, the Ubuntu Software Center, and more.

A significant new capability added in the v2.0.4 firmware is over-the-air (OTA) updating — at least in the case of the single-OS builds. Although the company hopes to be able to offer OTA updating for the UT3’s dual-boot firmware in the future, for now you’ll presumably need to download dual-boot firmware updates manually, and install them with a Ugoos-supplied update utility.

Summary of final UT3 specs

Below are the UT3’s final specifications, which have not changed much since our initial coverage last April.

  • Processor — Rockchip RK3288 SoC:
    • CPU — 4x Cortex-A17 cores @ 1.8GHz
    • GPU — Embedded Mali-T764 3D GPU (supports OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 /3.0, OpenCL 1.1; 8Kx8K video input and 4Kx4K video output)
  • Memory/storage:
    • RAM — 2GB DDR3 SDRAM (optional 4GB)
    • Built-in flash — 8GB NAND (optional 16, 32, or 64 GB)
    • Expansion — microSD slot (supports up to 32GB)
  • LAN — 1x 10/100 Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Wireless:
    • WiFi — 2.4/5GHz dual-band 802.11 b/g/n and 802.11 a/c; external antenna (supplied)
    • IR
    • BT 4.0 — supports Bluetooth 4.0 module
  • USB — 3x USB Host; 1x OTG micro-USB
  • A/V ports:
    • HDMI in — v1.4A output @ 4Kx2K, Full HD, [email protected] (type C female)
    • HDMI out — v1.4A input Full HD / 1920x1080p (type C female)
    • A/V output — 3.5mm jack
    • S/PDIF out
    • Mic input jack
  • Multimedia compatibility:
    • Video decoding — H.265 (hardware decoding), MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.263, H.264, H.265, AVS, VC-1, RV, VP6/VP8, Sorenson Spark, MVC 1920x1080p, [email protected]
    • Video encoding — H.264 and H.265 at up to 60Mbps; VP8; MVC (1080p)
    • Audio containers — MP1, MP2, MP3, WMA, WAV, OGG, OGA, APE, FLAC, AAC, M4A, 3GPP, etc.
    • Images — JPG, JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, JFIF, etc.; up to 8192×8192 resolution
  • Streaming protocols — DLNA, Miracast; supports DRM requirements
  • Remote control — smartphone app; IR remote (included); optional 2.4GHz wireless air mouse/remote
  • Power — 5V DC @ 2A wall plug-in power supply (included)
  • Dimensions — (tbd)
  • Operating system — Android 4.4.2 with Google Play, with support for apk installation; Ubuntu 14.10; dual-boot option that includes both (but lacks OTA updating)

Further details on the Ugoos UT3 product page. The UT3 is currently available online from Addicted to Android, starting at $130, and also from Amazon.

G-box micro game console

The G-box micro game console is listed as “coming soon,” and has yet to be priced. The preliminary specs appear to closely match those of the UT3 Media Player listed above. In the case of the G-box, the term “dual system” appears to refer to the fact it’s both a gaming system and a multimedia system, and it’s unclear whether the G-box supports a version of the new dual-boot (Android/Ubuntu) firmware offered for the UT3.

Ugoos G-box and its controller
(click image to enlarge)

Like the UT3, the G-box incorporates the ARM Cortex-A17 based, quad-core Rockchip RK3288 system-on-chip, which was announced in February. As before, a clock rate was not mentioned, but the RK3288 is said to run at up to 2GHz. The SoC also incorporates a Mali T7 GPU.

The G-box shares UT3 specs like 2GB to 4GB of RAM, 16GB to 32GB of flash, and a microSD slot. You get gigabit Ethernet instead of 10/100, and the WiFi bumps up to 802.11ac.

There’s no separate HDMI input, but otherwise the specs are almost identical, including HDMI 2.0 out, SPDIF out, and three USB 2.0 ports. A pair of serial ports are said to be reserved. The specs mention a 4K HDMI cable, but it’s unclear whether the device features the UT3’s 4Kx4K video output.

Ugoos game controller
(click to enlarge)

The game console angle is fulfilled with built-in games and an optional game controller. Few details were offered on the controller, which uses Bluetooth 4.0, rather than the optional IR port. The controller is touted for being “better than 2.4GHz game controller, no interference, no radiation, no delay.”

No pricing or availability was provided for the G-box micro game console. More information may be found in this Uboos blog post.


In September, Ugoos announced another media player similar to the UT3 called the UG-CX-998. Ugoos has since posted full specs on the device. The media player is said to be in stock for OEMs, but no consumer version has been released.

(click image to enlarge)

Like the Micro Game Console, the Android 4.4-based UG-CX-998 appears to be almost identical to the UT3 and most likely shares much of its design. The chief difference is that it supports 4Kx2K video instead of 4Kx4K on the UT3. It also adds a 2-megapixel camera, with a 5-megapixel camera said to be optional. There’s gigabit Ethernet, but no Bluetooth, and WiFi is the standard 802.11n.

The 160 x 96.3 31mm box ships with 2GB DDR3 RAM and 4-16GB flash. Other features appear to be almost identical. Like all of the above products, the UG-CX-998 runs on 5V/2A DC power.

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2 responses to “Android game console runs on quad-core Cortex-A17”

  1. sola says:

    Those Cortex-17 cores are fairly impressive (4.5 DMIPS/Mhz) and almost on par with the current 64bit “big” cores of ARM (Cortex A57, 5.0 DMIPS/Mhz).

    Judging by the orig Samsung Chromebook (Cortex A15, early revision, ~3.5DMIPS/Mhz), a quad-core setup @2Ghz should be plenty powerful for even a full-blown desktop Ubuntu. My XE303 runs Ubuntu 12.04 fairly well and ARM support should have advanced since.

    A lot will depend on the speed of the internal storage. The best would be if the console version either included SSD-class flash storage, or an SSD could be added by the customer (that case seems to be big enough for this option).

  2. bill says:

    Where’s the source code? It’s nice they have firmwares available, but the GPL requires the source code to cooresponding binaries that are being distributed.

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