GameStick $79 Android gaming console raises $100,000 in under 2 days

Apparently people really want to play Android games on their TV. Last summer the folks behind the Ouya $99 Android video game console took to Kickstarter to raise nearly a million dollars for their project — and managed to pick up $2 million in pledges in the first day alone.

Now the makers of the GameStick $79 Android TV stick are following suit in a slightly more modest fashion. Yesterday they launched a campaign to raise $100,000 in 30 days… and managed to do it in less than 2 days.

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The GameStick is a device about the size of a USB flash drive which you can plug into a TV to run Android apps on a big screen.

We’ve seen those before. What makes the GameStick different is that it comes with a wireless controller designed for playing games, as well as a custom user interface and game store for video games designed to play well with a TV.

The stick has an Amlogic 8726-MX dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. It runs Google Android Jelly Bean software and connects to a TV via an HDMI plug. That’s all you need to get started with MHL-compliant televisions, but there’s also a microUSB port which you can use to plug in a power source if your TV doesn’t use MHL.

The developers of the project are the folks at PlayJam, a platform for bringing video games to Smart TV sets.

PlayJam plans to ship the first units in April. You can reserve one by pledging $79 or more at Kickstarter. Eventually you may be able to pick up a GameStick at retail stores as well.

While it’s not entirely clear whether Android-based game consoles like the Ouya and GameStick have what it takes to take on the Wii, PlayStation, and Xbox consoles that dominate the living room, I do like the idea of using inexpensive sticks to turn standard televisions into smart TVs. If your Smart TV or video game system starts to feel a bit dated in a year or two, it’s a lot cheaper to update to a new $79 stick than to go out and buy a new TV with a faster processor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shawne-Beeson/100000728451467 Shawne Beeson

    SO they APE the Xbox interface, make cheap HW that is not a good as some of the sticks I have seen, and attach a from the looks of it a crap controller and they generate 100,000 bucks. I mean its not as nice as Ouya, has much cheaper HW, and is the same as every other android stick on the market, that you can buy now. I dont get it.

    • Boone Simpson

      I agree that the ouya at $99 with controller is a steal. The extra $20 bucks the ouya costs over the gamestik is well worth it for the added tegra 3 performance.

      Not saying the gamestick isn’t a good deal, it is just the ouya has the volume and know how to lower the cost.

  • Joe

    I heard Ouya is working with game devs/studios to create exclusive console targeted games. Is GameStick doing the same? If not, then I’m with Shawne. This device isn’t very competitive.

  • Ferd

    Why do these always have such poor WiFi performance and thermal characteristics if they use the same components as many phones and tablets? Hopefully these guys will get around that and other issues that prevent these “sticks” from being practical devices.

    • Boone Simpson

      The reason these chips (rockchip and allwinner) are in the cheap sticks, is because they use older manufacturing processes which make them run hotter and not as fast, hence why they are inexpensive. Whereas more expensive phones use more expensive, newer tech chips. These newer chips have lower TDP and allow for thinner designs.

      the phones and tablets that use rockchip and allwinner chips are big enough to have heatsinks and air space.

  • Michel Van Essen

    @ferd: if you’re interested there are some dual antenna android sticks with excellent wifi reception. The minix neo g5 for example runs a smooth 150 MBs/s.

    • strider_mt2k

      I think I’m likely to go with this stick and a BT controller myself.