Because of the open nature of Android, we’ve already seen some interesting devices besides smartphones powered by the OS, like tablets, watches, music players and even cameras, but it wasn’t until a team lead by Julie Uhrman, a video game industry veteran, that we finally saw a home console—of sorts—being powered by Android. With a goal of a million dollars, it seems like their chances of achieving their milestone were slim to none, but by surprise OUYA caught on like wildfire, the project broke a million dollars in one day and it kept on going. OUYA’s release is on track and scheduled for release this coming March, but it won’t be alone.
Another startup, GameStick, has thrown their hat in the ring and promises to bring the most “portable” game system to the market. GameStick is like OUYA in that it runs off the Android OS and connects to your TV, which allows users to browse available titles with a beautiful interface. The trick to GameStick is the small thumb drive shape stick that features a USB port that plugs into a TV or adapter and then can be stored in the controller when not in use, or if you plan to take it somewhere else, like on vacation, to a friends house or even work—depending on where you work.
The new GameStick is looking to offer Android and video game fans alike, the opportunity to play the games they love any where there is a TV, with ease and comfort. PlayJam, the company behind the concept, is aiming to price the GameStick at only $79.99, which is $20 cheaper than OUYA’s $99 asking price and it’s more portable to boot. While the GameStick is scheduled for an April release (a month after OUYA), PlayJam has said that in September of this year, they’ll be adding support for both XBMC and DLNA. These are two great services that will add media support and increased WiFi support for many other devices, included wireless TVs.
The GameStick offers specs that should be sufficient for many of today’s popular games on the Android platform, here’s a breakdown:
- Processor – Amlogic 8726-MX
- 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
- Support for XBMC & DLNA from Sept via optional firmware update.
If you’re interested in helping this project along, head over to the GameStick Kickstarter page, even though it has already reached its goal, it’s not to late to become a contributing founder and get some cool extras for helping bring this project to the market.