BlueStacks Android Console Will Cost $129

The Next Web reports that BlueStacks' upcoming Android-based gaming console GamePop will retail for $129 once it leaves the current pre-order promotion. This introductory promo has also been extended until the end of June due to the high demand of pre-orders, the company claims.

For now, potential customers can get the GamePop Android console for free if they sign up for the annual subscription service, $83.88 or $6.99 per month, before the promotion ends in late June. In contrast, the OUYA Android gaming console doesn’t require a subscription, and it also has a lower pricetag of $99. However, it's not due to arrive until June 29.

BlueStacks also recently announced that it has added nearly $30 worth of paid Android titles to the subscription service since it was first revealed earlier this month. The company added Korea-based COM2US as one of the major game publishers, and has even established a dedicated COM2US "channel" within the GamePop UI.

"Mobile gaming has been taking off the past few years. BlueStacks’ vision is to bring that same experience to bigger screens," BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma said in a statement. "The all-you-can-eat pricing model for GamePop lets users enjoy a much broader range of games, just as you can watch more movies with Netflix versus the pay-as-you-go model Blockbuster employed."

GamePop connects to an HDTV via an HDMI port, and comes pre-loaded with lots of top paid games that would cost hundreds of dollars on a tablet or smartphone. A total of 500 titles from the likes of Halfbrick, Glu Mobile, Outfit7, Intellijoy and more will be available in the subscription service at the time of launch, with more on the way.

Games can be controlled using the included GamePop controller, or through the iPhone or Android smartphone via an app-based virtual gamepad interface. "It is not what people will expect, it’s much better, we will ensure that the experience is high quality game-by-game," BlueStacks' John Gargiulo told TechCrunch. "[It uses] new control paradigms that have recently been made possible."

He said BlueStacks' game-by-game approach to controls will give it the upper hand over competitors like OUYA which forces developers to tweak their game to work with the hardware. GamePop wants the games untouched when they arrive to the console so that the internal team can ensure the best-possible experience.

"What’s really helping us win developers is the fact that we’re using our resources, our funding, our engineering to build all of the IP around their apps and games working on GamePop," he said. "Whereas, the old school console model, and what others are doing in this space, is asking quite a lot of developers. Developers don’t have a lot of bandwidth, and people are asking them to integrate SDKs, special controls, build special menus and that’s not something we’re asking for."

As for the console's hardware, the company currently isn't revealing the details outside the Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" OS. It's also unclear what other non-gaming services will be included like Netflix and Hulu Plus.

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