Thursday, January 3, 2013

GameStick Hits Kickstarter Goal in Only Two Days

The recently announced GameStick has reached its goal of $100,000 in only two days. The GameStick was a concept device from the people at PlayJam, a company that has been creating games for the SmartTV platform. Now this was the only logical next step. By providing a cheap and portable console that plugs directly in to a TV via a MHL compliant HDMI connection. And by providing a controller that connects to the HDMI stick via Bluetooth. The entire system is powered by Android, which should make it easy for developers to port existing games over. At only $79, it is $20 cheaper than the similar OUYA which is also powered by Android, but is more of a set-top box form factor, rather than a HDMI stick. Also the controller holds the entire console itself, meaing the HDMI stick that holds all the neccesary components and slides in to the controller itself.

Of course being cheaper, it forces the device to cut some corners. Whereas the OUYA has a quad core Tegra 3, the GameStick features a dual core Amlogic 8726-MX. Here are the other specs:
  • Memory - 1GB DDR3 / 8GB FLASH
  • Content Download Manager w/ cloud storage for games.
  • 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.
  • Full 1080p HD video decoding
Even though the GameStick doesn't have a Tegra SoC, that doesn't mean graphics will be terrible. In fact the Amlogic 8726-MX has two Mali-400 GPUs, the same GPUs used on the international GS3. Most of these specs resemble a mid to high range Android smartphone which means that game play should be smooth. But there's been no word on Play Store support, meaning that all games will most likely be bought through a proprietary store. 

Though the future seems bright for this little console, it will be hard to get large commercial support for it due to the duopoly that Sony and Microsoft have on living room gaming. But only time will tell the fate for this device.

Source: GameStick

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