Kickstarter funded consoles are getting lots of attention lately. The most notable is the OUYA, but despite all the attention that the aforementioned console is getting, it's hard to ignore the GameStick. Also funded through Kickstarter, the GameStick is a convenient Android gaming console that uses a wireless controller and HDMI stick (remarkably similar to a USB drive).
A pre-order page for the device has been launched (powered by Amazon, if you care), allowing you to pony up the cash for a unit in advance. It's going to cost you $79 to pre-order a GameStick, and that includes the wireless controller and portable console stick. If you happen to have some extra money, you can also order a dock ($25) and protective case ($10). Once paid for, you can expect your goods to arrive within the next few months; April is the projected release date if there are no further delays.
I'm sure you've heard of the GameStick before, but it would probably be good if I described the console and peripherals in more detail.
The GameStick Console and Controller
Like I mentioned above, the GameStick is a small device, similar to a USB drive, that plugs into the HDMI port on a TV. Once connected, it turns your TV into an Android gaming console with full internet capabilities. A game console is only as good as its equipment allows it to be, and rightly so, here are the specs for the GameStick:
- Processor - Amlogic 8726-MXS
- 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 4.2 Jelly Bean
- Controller - Bluetooth
- Full 1080p HD video decoding
- Upgrade memory via microSD card slot
- Support for iOS and Android mobile devices to be used as controllers
- Support for XBMC & DLNA from Sept via optional firmware update
It should be noted that even though the GameStick includes 8GB of internal storage, it is also equipped with a MicroSD expansion slot that supports cards up to 32GB. If you pre-order the dock, you also gain access to an additional expansion slot for even more storage.
Also, the console will require you to use a credit card, debit card, or prepaid card in order to make purchases in the GameStick Gamestore. It's just like the Google Play store, where you have to pay for apps to use on your current Android device.
The GameStick Charging Dock
The GameStick dock allows you to wirelessly charge the controller, and connect various peripherals for use with the console. If you so desire, you can connect USB devices like a keyboard and mouse, webcams, microphones and more. The dock includes a basic list of features which you'll find listed below.
- Wireless Charging
- 2x HDMI ports
- 3 USB Ports (one front, two rear)
- Additional storage via SD card (up to 64GB)
- Run GameStick Direct from the Dock
The GameStick Case
The GameStick case is straightforward. If you can't already see from the images, the GameStick plugs directly into the controller (it attaches via a unique port at the top). Naturally, the case will just cover the controller, while the GameStick itself will remain plugged into its own port.
I've included the official press release below, as well.
GameStick launches pre-order service ahead of global retail launch.
Santa Clara, CA, Las Vegas, NV and London. UK - Friday 15th February, 2013. Hot off the back of its recent Kickstarter success, PlayJam, the company behind GameStick - the world's most portable TV games console - today launched a pre-
order service via its website www.gamestick.tv.
Powered by Amazon, the service enables anyone who missed out on the opportunity to get their hands on a GameStick during the Kickstarter campaign to jump the queue ahead of a global retail launch in a few months time. Pre-ordered devices will ship immediately after fulfillment of the initial Kickstarter run in April and will maintain the $79 price point.
"January was a pivotal month for GameStick with the success of the campaign ensuring that we could bring the device to life." Said Anthony Johnson, CMO PlayJam, "Since the campaign closed, we have received thousands of e-mails from individuals keen to ensure they remain one of the first to receive the product. By continuing to offer GameStick on pre-order, we will be able to maintain momentum ahead of our planned retail activity".
The standard GameStick bundle is listed at $79 with a case and dock supporting a wide range of peripheral devices are listed at $9.99 and $24.99 respectively.