With the Kickstarter-funded OUYA and Nvidia's handheld Shield currently out on the market, Android console watchers are now turning their peeps to the Kickstarter-funded GameStick. The device was originally slated for an April release, but as of August 16, the developers reported that the first shipments will finally head out to Kickstarter backers by the middle of September.
Backing up that claim is a possible sighting of the console's Bluetooth controller over on the FCC this week. The base device itself will sport a Cortex-A9 based Amlogic 8726-MX SoC, 1 GB of DDR3 RAM, 8 GB of internal storage, Wireless N and Bluetooth LE 4.0 connectivity, and a custom "forked" version of Google's Android "Jelly Bean" platform. The stick-shaped console will plug into any HDTV's HDMI port and can be shoved into the Bluetooth controller for easy storage when not in use.
"The Team, led by Jasper Smith, a veteran of the interactive games and TV sector, is obsessed about bringing the best possible games experience to the big screen and is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to achieve that goal," the team states on Kickstarter. "Working with Anthony Johnson and Luke Lam, GameStick has been incubated within PlayJam over the last 12 months."
Amazon (opens in new tab) and GameStop (opens in new tab) actually list the estimated retail launch as September 30, but customers can pre-order the device now for a respectable $79.99 USD. One controller comes with the Android console, and apps for both iOS and Android will be made available so that smartphones and tablets can be used as touch-based controllers as well. Support for XBMC and DLNA will reportedly be added next month in an optional firmware upgrade.
Unfortunately, GameStick will follow OUYA's closed network path and rely on its own Android Marketplace instead of Google Play to serve up games. To this date, Nvidia's Shield is the only Android console offering a pure Google Play experience. Thus for GameStick, that closed-network approach means developers will need to port their games over to the new console's storefront.
"So far we have identified 200 titles that will be great to play on GameStick but we are working with our network of over 250 developers including great studios such as Madfinger, Hutch, Disney and others to bring you the best line-up," the team states. "What's really cool is that the average cost of a game on GameStick will be just a few dollars and many will be free to play."
For more information about the GameStick Android console, head here.
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No googleplay=no purchase no matter how cheap for me. The whole point of android for me in a console is all the crap already available being playable. So far it looks like ouya and gamestick are going to fail. I suppose NV doesn't care how many console failures there are as long as they all use their chips...LOL. These guys and ouya just need to make a deal with google to allow googleplay games and just get a cut of them (10% or 20% of the sale or something). Surely google would rather have all of these things making GAMEPAD google games that run everywhere since all android devices can run an xbox360 etc controller now. It doesn't help their platform (android I mean) if they are all producing losers.
It seems that only shield has what it takes to succeed so far (all googleplay apps & games, and the best performance). I really hope google & madcatz consoles both use googleplay and have at least a T4 or T5 in them. Obviously google's own console should have googleplay access ROFL. I hope amazon does the same but they seem to enjoy FORKING android also so I doubt whatever they come up with will be exciting to me either.