While all eyes are on Sony and Microsoft as we await news on the PS4 and Xbox 720 consoles, there’s a quieter gaming revolution picking up steam thanks to crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Android gaming consoles, like the OUYA, could inexpensively fill the gap left by the big boy console developers, offering big-screen Android gaming, taking it out of your pocket and putting it into the living room. Today sees the launch of another player in the Android console space; GameStick, currently in development by Smart TV gaming specialists PlayJam.
Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, the GameStick puts a complete Android gaming console into a device the size of a flash drive, housing all memory, connectivity modules and processing capabilities in a stick that can be powered by a HDMI port.
The tiny console comes with its own NES-like Bluetooth gamepad which sports two analogue sticks and a recess to slot the tiny console into when not in use.
The Gamestick has a slick-front end GUI (you can see it in action in the video below), and will play a selection of specially adapted Android games including Shadowgun, Dead Trigger, Cannabalt and Smash Cops, with many more games developers expected to jump on board now that the project has gone public.“We wanted to create a games console that helped further our overriding mission to bring affordable gaming to the big screen”, said Jasper Smith, CEO PlayJam.
“Not only that, we wanted to push the boundaries of what has been achieved up to now by packing sufficient power into the most portable of devices, enabling users to carry that experience with them wherever they go.
“We are currently in a closed Beta phase of development with a working prototype that our guys are using to test some great games. Next comes the final design stage and live testing of both the controller and the games. We are fortunate to have been able to utilize our existing technology to get us to this point and have preferred manufacturers in place and an existing developer network ready to go. However, to get this project over the line and into full production, we need the support of the backers on Kickstarter.”
The full specs are as follows:
Processor – Amlogic 8726-MX
Memory – 1GB DDR3 / 8GB FLASH
WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth – LE 4.0
O/S – Android Jelly Bean
Controller – Bluetooth, 3 mode controller: gamepad, mouse and keyboard with support for up to 4 controllers.
If all goes to plan and PlayJam hit their goal of $100,000 by February 1st, the GameStick will launch in March or April for just $75 (around £45). Though it lacks the processing grunt of the OUYA, that pocket-money price tag would make it a very tempting purchase indeed.
By Gerald Lynch | January 2nd, 2013