It looks like OUYA will not be the only Android-based game console on the market, and that makes me quite happy, because it’s something I wanted Google to do with Google TV since day one. Gamestick is latest company to try their luck and it needs $100,000 in donations for their Kickstarter campaign to be able to mass-produce an Android Jelly Bean console, that will cost only $79.
The Gamestick console is only an USB stick type of device, something we’ve seen before, that comes with one controller (can support up to 4), and you can integrate the whole console inside the controller. It comes with a dual core processor, that’s most likely weaker than the Tegra 3 inside OUYA, although it seems to support all the latest 3D games that have arrived on Android. The weaker processor could explain why this only costs $79, while OUYA is $99, and we also have no idea about its build quality right now. We’ll have to wait until it actually ships to see that.
The rest of the specs seem pretty similar to OUYA’s:
- Memory – 1GB DDR3
- 8GB flash storage
- WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth – LE 4.0
- Android Jelly Bean
If they can get the money now, they plan to release it as soon as April, which is just one month after the official OUYA launch. We also don’t know that much about what kind of store they will have (it can’t be the Play Store, since Google won’t give them the license for it), although it looks they are in the process of talking to 250 developers to convince them of porting their games to their console.
Going forward, this may be the biggest problem these Android console developers will have to face, at least until Google decides to make the Play Store available for all – and they might have to. But until then, they’ll all have to build their own custom stores, and convince as many developers as possible to put their Android games on these consoles. It might not be that much of a hassle though, as they will still be pretty much the same Android games, but unless these consoles show huge numbers (millions), most developers might not bother with them.
Things should get interesting this year with all these Android consoles coming up, and I think we’ll even see one that is based on Tegra 4 or Exynos 5 Quad or something similar, by the end of the year, that will cost either $99 or just slightly more.