GameStick aims to give Ouya run for its money with a $79 video game console

The $99 Ouya video game console is expected to ship in April, 2013. But it may not be the only inexpensive Android-based game console available at that time. A company called GameStick has just launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a similar device designed to bring Android games to the TV.

The GameStick is a USB thumb drive-sized device which has an ARM Cortex-A9 processor, a wireless game controller, and a specially designed user interface made to let you navigate through your games on a big screen television.

A pledge of $79 or more is what it takes to reserve a GameStick — but the project is only funded if the team reaches its goal of raising $100,000 or more by February 1st.

GameStick

The stick itself features an Amlogic 8726-MX processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of flash storage. It runs Google Android Jelly Bean and features built-in support for 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

There’s an HDMI port on one end, and you can plug the stick directly into a TV to run games on a big screen. If you have an MHL-compliant TV, the stick will be able to draw power directly from the TV.

You control games using a Bluetooth controller that looks a lot like a typical video game console controller, but it has a slot that you can insert the GameStick into when you’re not using it, for easy storage.

The system also supports mouse and keyboard input.

The hardware looks awfully familiar. We’ve seen a number of inexpensive Android TV sticks from China which look just like the GameStick, and which feature similar hardware.

What’s different about the GameStick is the game-centric software interface, the specially designed game controller that will ship with the stick, and the team behind the project which includes the folks behind the PlayJam platform for bringing video games to Smart TVs.

gamestick_02

The hardware is still under development and the GameStick team is still working with app developers to make sure their titles will work with the final system. But about 200 Andorid games are already supported, and like most Android games, most will be available to play for free or just for a few dollars.

Currently supported games including Shadowgun, Dead Trigger, Canabalt, Boulder Dash XL, and more.

Users will be able to download games from the internet to their devices to play — and GameStick is also looking into using CiiNow to stream some video games to the console over the internet without first downloading the whole game.

If the team meets its fundraising goals, the first units are expected to ship to Kickstarter backers in April. Eventually PlayJam hopes to sell GameStick devices through retail channels as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mr.e.cameron Earl Cameron

    it would be interesting if they partnered with ouya, so they would share some features, game library and develop standards like controller, minimum perf etc….

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    The Amlogic 8726-MX is only a dual-core Cortex-A9 while Tegra3 (Ouya) is quad-core.

    Also, for gaming, the box design may be better than the stick design since it may easily host more ports and it is easier to site near the base of the TV.

  • http://www.facebook.com/puzzud Andrew Dieffenbach

    No ethernet port :P

  • Ibrahim Ng’eno

    @sola @facebook-613471617:disqus Ports can be easily added by using USB hub + USB ethernet adapter, both dirt cheap
    As for the quad-core/dual-core discrepancy, not all devices have to be the same, just good enough for the task, as someone who uses a dual-core tablet for gaming, I have nothing but nice things to say about the ARM Mali400 graphics in this device, “hard-core” gamers would probably overlook this as well as the ouya in favour of something with more oomph [ Playstation? X-Box? ]
    I am just glad that there is some competition in this space, it means prices will go down and quality up and choice is always a good thing.

  • http://rct.me.ht/ crashsuit

    It’s great to already see competition in the Android home gaming market.

  • strider_mt2k

    Excellent to see some competition in this area!
    I’m interested to see what transpires, although there are some pretty powerful looking competitors in the “stick PC” field already so they had better step it up, and fast!
    A controller with a slot for the stick…is just a controller.

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

    S0 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. Just get one of the million android sticks and sync up a Xbox or Playstation controller. Then you have this. At least with Ouya, the box has more to offer and is a box (not a stick, I hate the stick format, a small box like appleTV or Roku is a much better way to go)

  • pacanz

    to me the interesting and promising thing about the GameStick announcement is that we now have two competing devices each being developed by teams that have well experienced gaming industry people as their leaders. They both appear to have well organised projects and plans to run from inception through to general release. That seems to be a major contrast with the rash of asian origin sticks that are being delivered in partially completed states of development.

    The other significant difference between Ouya and GameStick looks to be the former’s committment to an open source philosophy against the latter’s as yet unrevealed approach which may well turn out to be a closed and proprietary