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GameStick Console Price at $79, Now Up for Pre-order

By - Source: PlayJam via Engadget | B 14 comments

The portable console's retail launch is just around the corner.

Earlier this month, Ouya announced that its $99 Android console was up for pre-order and scheduled for launch in June. Now another Kickstarter-backed console is making its way to market.


GameStick is a portable Android-based console that turned quite a few heads by meeting its $100K Kickstarter goal six times over. Offering a prototype that's no bigger than a flash drive, GameStick allows for a compact, no-fuss gaming experience using a TV equipped with a HDMI connection. Today, PlayJam, the company behind GameStick announced that the console was officially up for pre-order.


PlayJam says its Amazon-powered pre-order service is an opportunity for those that missed out on the Kickstarter to jump the queue on the official retail launch. The company says pre-orders will ship immediately after the initial Kickstarter run in April (a GameStick unit was one of the perks for those that pledged above a certain amount on Kickstarter).

"January was a pivotal month for GameStick with the success of the campaign ensuring that we could bring the device to life." Said Anthony Johnson, CMO PlayJam, "Since the campaign closed, we have received thousands of e-mails from individuals keen to ensure they remain one of the first to receive the product. By continuing to offer GameStick on pre-order, we will be able to maintain momentum ahead of our planned retail activity."

PlayJam is selling the GameStick plus a controller for $79.99. The dock will set you back $24.99, while the GameStick case is going for $9.99.Pre-orders are being taken through

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  • 5 Hide
    hero1 , February 15, 2013 6:34 PM
    So many choices out there. I hope that they perform well for those who will end up buying them.
  • 1 Hide
    ubercake , February 15, 2013 6:39 PM
    For a world getting more and more complacent with finger-swipe games on their phones, look for many of these new game consoles to carry these simple games while giving us a control stick since we can't swipe our television.
  • 5 Hide
    antilycus , February 15, 2013 6:48 PM
    zero interest for this, tons for OUYA. Maybe because Ouya has 3D accerlation?
  • 4 Hide
    myromance123 , February 15, 2013 7:09 PM
    The controller looks like it's ready to induce a whole lot of RSI... I hope they contemplate better ergonomics in future designs at least.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , February 15, 2013 7:53 PM
    For some reason I read the buttons as "paypal" instead of "play"...
  • 1 Hide
    AndrewMD , February 15, 2013 10:45 PM
    paypalinsteadofplayFor some reason I read the buttons as "paypal" instead of "play"...

    That's you not me. And reading from your username, I see this is a low ball way to advertise....
  • 2 Hide
    audiophillia , February 16, 2013 12:49 AM
    hastenI'm a little concerned about these device's target market. It seems to be in no mans land. Sure there will be a few rabid fans looking for a low cost gaming solutions (as evident from posts here and the amazing kickstarter results), but the casual market will likely be intimidated by a product like these unless the execution is exceptional. I also don't see many "hardcore" gamers finding value in them as they would rather have a more powerful console or are PC gamers/enthusiasts (who certainly don't need a device like this).

    I am going to have to disagree about the casual crowd statement. The casual crowd is more tech-savvy then we give them credit for and I think they can handle identifying an hdmi port. I could see this working wonders for my friend who is a SNES, NES fan. Just load it down with emulators and he is ready to roll.
  • 0 Hide
    darkavenger123 , February 16, 2013 2:16 AM
    What's the point of this...what am going to play with this...Angry birds? Fruit Ninja? With a controller??? Duh.
  • 3 Hide
    audiophillia , February 16, 2013 2:44 AM
    darkavenger123What's the point of this...what am going to play with this...Angry birds? Fruit Ninja? With a controller??? Duh.

    I imagine emulators more than anything. the controller gives a snes/dualshock vibe.
  • 0 Hide
    slabbo , February 16, 2013 3:50 AM
    at first i was kinda interested in Ouya and this Gamestick, but after finding out you need to repurchase your Android Apps in order to play the games that was a huge "hell no!" Stupid deal killer!!!
  • 1 Hide
    master_chen , February 16, 2013 5:30 AM
    >Y, A
    Hmmm...alright...even though Y should be always on top, it's rule made by gods themselves, you don't deny gods
    >P, L
    What the funk are you doing? Too hipster, guys...too hipster and "rad". Ugh.

    Well, aside from all that, looks decent...
  • 0 Hide
    master_chen , February 16, 2013 5:37 AM


    (Layout still sucks, though. It should be "< P - v L - > A - ^ Y", NOT "^ P - > L - v A - < Y"!)
  • 0 Hide
    kinggraves , February 16, 2013 9:28 AM
    audiophilliaI am going to have to disagree about the casual crowd statement. The casual crowd is more tech-savvy then we give them credit for and I think they can handle identifying an hdmi port. I could see this working wonders for my friend who is a SNES, NES fan. Just load it down with emulators and he is ready to roll.

    Someone using an emulator is not a casual. NES games actually had a way higher skill curve than today's "Press X during cutscene" fare.

    Sure, it's good for emulators I guess, but does it allow multiplayer? The Ouya does, and that would be preferable for an emulator solution for the extra $20. The Ouya would actually be better in every way since it's also been shown to have some 3rd party interest already.

    Really though, where's the market for either one? The amount of people who actually are going to buy these just to run emulation and don't already have a device they can plug in to do it is pretty small. A decent HTPC can run some ps2 and even Wii games, Android barely pushes PS1 properly. Modern gamers aren't going to be satisfied with the quality level of most of the games actually planned for it, and the launch window for Ouya has no need to have games. Mobile gamers are used to games that use simplistic swiping, expecting them to get used to gamepad controls is like expecting a console pro to use KB/Mouse. Games made for smartphones are not going to be optimized for these devices.

    Ouya's already getting a place made in the failed console hall of fame, and Gamestick probably won't even get in the doors there.
  • 0 Hide
    anonym0us3 , February 17, 2013 8:02 PM
    I think the concept of both the OUYA and the GameStick (at intended endgame) is less a focus on emulators and ports, and more at providing a home developer market not seen since the days of the earliest personal computers. The Apple IIs, the Commodore 64s, the Spectrums, the Amstrads, the Amigas and the like.

    These are both consoles anyone can develop a game for if they want - without having to pay for expensive DevKits, Certification and going through a lengthy approvals process (not to mention licensing fees) as found on other home consoles from the big three.

    That, and it provides an easy way to develop for a single hardware configuration geared at the "gamer" (which consoles still provide) - rather than having to develop your game for multiple variants of smartphone or PC if funding is tight.

    On the consumer level, the target is a lot more focussed. They're aiming at people who DON'T want to feel like they're "limited" to the image of casual, touch-screen only games that are found on tablets and smartphones (rightly or wrongly), while lying back on the couch where a keyboard and mouse setup just does not work. We're talking here about the Indie Gamer. The type of person who plays games designed purely for the XBLA/PlayStation Network/Steam crowd - where the experiences are perceived (rightly or wrongly) as soulless, corporate creations suffering from Franchise Syndrome or Sequeliits.

    I guess you could say the console is for the "NerdCore Niche". There's certainly enough of them out there to provide a potential audience for smaller game projects that are geared to traditional gamepad controls if we go by the Kickstarter pages. That and I'm certain anyone who wants to invest in one of these console devices is not going to imagine the next Triple-A hardcore gamer game among the releases that are no doubt incoming. People buying these will be doing so (in the main) eyes wide open.

    My concern, though, is that price wise you get a much better value for money proposition from the Quad Core Tegra SoC powered OUYA than the Dual Core, low-end, A9 ARM based SoC in the GameStick (which has to keep inside a heat and power envelope equivalent to a USB Memory Stick). I think the GameStick is going to find itself rapidly limited by the lack of a touchpad and its lack of power and functionality when compared to its $20 more expensive competitor, not to mention OUYA's mandate of Free2Play/Free2Try only being touted as THE selling point of the console and GameStick have yet to make a similar claim.