GameStick

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GameStick
GameStick Logo.png
Also known as Game Stick
Developer PlayJam
Product family First Generation
Type Microconsole
Release date November 15, 2013
Introductory price $79 USD
Operating system Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
System-on-chip used Amlogic 8726-MX
CPU ARM Cortex A9
Memory 1 GB DDR3 / 8 GB FLASH
Storage GB internal flash memory
Display HDMI
1080p, 720p
Graphics Mali-400 MP
Input Bluetooth
Controller input Wireless controller
Connectivity
Dimensions Size of a flash drive
Website www.gamestick.tv

GameStick is a video game console developed by PlayJam. The size of a USB flash drive, it is a microconsole that plugs directly into the back of a TV via the HDMI port and ships with its own Bluetooth controller. Users of GameStick can access and download content via its curated store-front via Wi-Fi with content stored locally for off-line access. The device is powered by the PlayJam Games Platform running its own version of the Android operating system operating system. GameStick is intended to be a portable device aimed at casual to mid-core gamers for $79. Like the similar Ouya, it was funded via Kickstarter.

While it was originally slated to be released in June 2013 it was delayed,[1] and units started to ship to Kickstarter backers on November, 2013.[2] The console was scheduled to be released to the general public in retailers in early November 2013. It features an exclusive GameStick game and app store for games and applications designed specifically for the GameStick platform, of which the majority are casual games targeted at or used by a mass audience of casual gamers.

All systems can be used as development kits, allowing any GameStick owner and gamer to also be a developer, without the need for licensing fees. The GameStick is classified as part of the eighth generation of video game consoles and as such is a rival competing against the Ouya, Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

History[edit]

Jasper Smith and the PlayJam "development team" began recruiting support from developers early in the process. Before the project's launch, GameStick was said to have support from "over 1000 developers".[3] Game designers interested in the project can pledge $500 in support of the console in exchange for a prototype unit and SDK one month before launch. Although specific information regarding compatibility has not been released, PlayJam reports that at least 200 existing games on the Google Play Store will be compatible with GameStick.[4] However, the GameStick will not support the Google Play store directly, so game developers will need to port their games specifically to the GameStick store.[5] News about the GameStick has been featured on tech websites such as Engadget, SlashGear, and Tom's Hardware, as well as mainstream media outlets like NBC News.[3] [6][7] In April 2013 it was reported that the launch date had been put back by three months to June due to demand and a change in production methods.[8]

Design and specifications[edit]

The GameStick product will consist of two main elements: a controller, and the console itself, with a cable for charging. The controller will have two analog sticks, a directional pad, A/B/X/Y face buttons, shoulder buttons, and system buttons for power and menus. Some design concepts show a slot for storing the console inside the controller. There are also plans for an accessory dock to allow connection of microphones, etc. The console contains an HDMI connector for the user's television, internal processor and memory, and all wireless radios.[4] The GameStick will access the internet via Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n. Up to four controllers can connect via Bluetooth 4.0, as well as wireless keyboards and mice, also through Bluetooth. The GameStick will also support iOS and Android devices as controllers. Playback will support 1080 HD as well as XBMC DLNA with an optional firmware upgrade. The GameStick will use an interface similar to the tiled dashboard on the Xbox 360.[9] The first accessory for GameStick being the docking station that offers wireless charging to the controller, 3 USB ports, an SD card reader, ethernet and HDMI. The dock is purported to connect to various devices such as USB keyboards, webcams, microphones and dance mats.[10] The console and controller will be released in four colors: black, white, red, and a 'Kickstarter Special' green and black. Certain supporters will receive limited edition gold-colored consoles.

GameStick was the first third-party device to licence ToFu Media Center, a derivative fork of XBMC Media Center.[11][12][13]

Reception[edit]

The Verge praised the minimalist design and low cost console, but were concerned by the limited game selection, the locked-down software and hardware, and the underpowered CPU that was unable to play the latest Android games.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ GameStick: The Most Portable TV Games Console Ever Created by GameStick » Project Update - 158 Days In. — Kickstarter. Kickstarter.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b Mallory, Jordan (2013-01-03). "GameStick Android console is the size of a USB stick". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Android Game Consoles: Ouya vs GameStick". gaducated.com. 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  5. ^ "GameStick vs. Ouya: Which Sub-$100 Android Game Console are You Getting? – Yahoo! Voices". voices.yahoo.com. 2013-01-07. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  6. ^ Gilbert, Ben (2013-01-29). "GameStick reveals final backer-aided design, dock for peripherals". Engadget.com. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  7. ^ Winda Benedetti (2012-11-14). "Thumb drive-sized GameStick console launching in April – InGame on". Nbcnews.com. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  8. ^ "BBC News – Gamestick console release date delayed". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  9. ^ "GameStick Takes on Ouya as a Portable Android Games Console". IGN. 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-04-09. 
  10. ^ "You spoke and we listened.". Kickstarter. GameStick. 
  11. ^ Pivos Brings TOFU Media Center to GameStick Store at Launch
  12. ^ GameStick Review
  13. ^ PlayJam GameStick
  14. ^ The Verge (2013-11-01). "GameStick review: the Android console battle is on". The Verge. Retrieved 2013-11-04. 

External links[edit]