The company wants extra time for feedback on the user interface.
The Android gaming console GameStick has seen another launch delay, as it's now pushed back into a late August commercial release. PlayJam, the company developing the device, originally targeted an April release, but then pushed back the launch until the end of June due to "high demand" for the device. Now the company wants extra time for feedback on the console's user interface.
"The Designed By Me units [for those who pledged $300 or more] have been late to go out because it has taken a while longer to prepare the review UI than we had hoped," the company said. "This is in part because the DEV version of the hardware this will be delivered on is slightly different from the production hardware. This has required a duplication of effort that we have had to balance with ensuring that work on the final units maintained momentum."
"As a result we have not yet had the feedback that we wanted prior to finalizing the UI and going ahead with mass production," the company added. "In the spirit of Kickstarter it would be disingenuous of us to cut out this process and not give those backers the opportunity to comment on and help perfect the UI prior to completion. We have therefore taken the decision to push back the whole project by 1 month to ensure we can fit this process in."
GameStick is one of many stand-alone Android consoles in development. The first of the batch is OUYA which is shipping this week and slated to go live on June 25. Following that is Nvidia's SHIELD handheld which is expected to ship before the end of the month. Then later this year, BlueStacks' GamePop is expected to launch during the winter along with the M.O.J.O. "micro-console" from Mad Catz.
Needless to say, competition is beginning to heat up in the Android gaming market, and a good reason for PlayJam to take its time with GameStick. "We appreciate that this will frustrate backers keen to get their hands on their device but we did not feel it was fair to bypass this step as it was a key pledge and the feedback will be really welcome," the company told backers. "We now expect to ship product from China during early August and expect it to be with you by the middle of the month, prior to units launching in retail."
GameStick is billed as the most portable Android console on the market, consisting of an HDMI-based console stick that plugs into an HDTV and a game controller which in turn stores the actual "micro-console" device. For now, hardware specs include an Amlogic 8726-MX SoC with ARM Cortex-A9 CPU cores, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, Wireless N and Bluetooth LE 4.0 connectivity, Full HD 1080p HD video decoding, and Android "Jelly Bean".
The Kickstarter project lasted for thirty days, and accumulated $647,658 USD from 5,691 backers. The team's original goal was to generate only $100,000 USD.