New Android Console Challenges the Ouya on Kickstarter

New Android Console Challenges the Ouya on Kickstarter

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The GameStick is a tiny console that plugs directly into your HDTV.

With a new console generation looming, people in the gaming industry are worried the whole honking hardware system is broken. It's expensive for developers to jump through the hoops Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo place before them to get their games playable on a big screen TV. The answer is to create a new ecosystem, and the Ouya attracted massive funding on Kickstarter with the premise of a $100 console with an open platform. But it looks like they weren't the only ones with this bright idea. A company called PlayJam is going even cheaper, with an $80 console and controller in one attractive package. In contrast to the Ouya's $950,000 asking price on Kickstarter, PlayJam is only looking for $100,000 to get the GameStick onto shelves by April 2013.

The GameStick doesn't just want to be an open platform, Jasper Smith the CEO of GameJam wants it to be portable too. The 2" long GameStick doesn't look much bigger than a flash USB drive, and it fits directly inside the controller. "People are always on the go. Traditional consoles are big. We set out to create a big screen games console that was so small you could pop it in your pocket," the Kickstarter description reads. All you need to do is plug in the HDMI cord and you're good to play.

A big worry about the Ouya is the gaming library is limited to only those titles on the Android platform, but GameStick says it has identified more than 200 games which will work really well on the big screen. "We are working with our network of over 250 developers including great studios such as Madfinger, Hutch, Disney and others to bring you the best line-up," goes the pitch. The Ouya has deals in place with Onlive and other game streaming services, but there's been nothing like that announced for the GameStick yet.

Finally, I heard many rumblings from gaming insiders that the Ouya team couldn't deliver on its promise and were fuming that the Kickstarter earned more than $8 million on smoke and mirrors. Again, in contrast to the Ouya, the GameStick is almost complete and - if the funding is successful - could be delivered in less than 4 months. "We have been developing this project for a little over a year now. We have a working prototype of the GameStick as demonstrated below. It's not as pretty right now as it will be but it's ours and it's working. We're 90% of the way to getting the final pre-production sample in our hands," reads the Kickstarter page.

I still don't know whether I want to play Android games on a TV, but I'm behind any attempt to change the paradigm of gaming production. If you are too, head to the GameStick Kickstarter campaign to check out their plan.

Source: Kickstarter

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This GameStick thing looks quite interesting though and I like the design of the controller for sure. Let's hope that if this gets on the shelves that it doesn't got the route of the Nokia N-Gage. Or worse that it doesn't turn into one of those incomplete things advertised as being complete. *looks at War Z*

Sounds to me like they have just bought an off the shelf offering from a manufacture, took away the touch screen and added the control inputs.

Neronium:
So the Ouya thing was a fraud? I'm kinda confused.
This GameStick thing looks quite interesting though and I like the design of the controller for sure. Let's hope that if this gets on the shelves that it doesn't got the route of the Nokia N-Gage.

Its just the usual internet volatility, goes from love to hate in 30 seconds. The Ouya dev consoles have been shipped on time.

Neronium:
So the Ouya thing was a fraud? I'm kinda confused.

From some youtube videos they have already shipped the development kits to people. They are also taking preorders on their website. From the looks of everything it's not a fraud.

As for the GameStick? I don't know. It has some promise, just like the OUYA. Since no one has ever broken into this kind of market before, it's going to be interesting. I might get either one, if they are doing well.

My gut screams 'too good to be true'. My gut is kind of weird and I should probably visit a doctor.

That said: "We're doing what a popular other company is doing, only totally better in every way" is a rather... optimistic bit of marketing. "You thought the Ouya was small? Well our console fits in the controller!" "You thought the Ouya was cheap? Well our console is CHEAPER!" "You thought the Ouya had games? We're working with over 200 different devs!" "You think the Ouya isn't going to be finished fast enough? Well we're already almost done!" And so on.

I am worried as to how legitimate this will actually be and what quality to expect when it does ship. That said, the tech is probably all there, so it could be that I'm just worrying about nothing.

Hmm, i don't know. I get a very WarZ-esque vibe from this. Here comes this concept, seemingly out of nowhere, that is very similar to the Ouya, and it just so happens to be on track to ship before that console.

Color me skeptical.

0p3rati0n:
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albino boo:
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Ah thanks for clearing that up for me. I hadn't heard anything about the Ouya in a while so I was curious.

"There are over 1,416,338,245 TVs in the world but less than 1% of them are used to play games!", but how how many of those have an HDMI port? A lot I'm sure but that is weird number to show without clarifying.

I'm not sure what to make of this since I'm not up on how much tech you can fit into something the size of a usb stick. However I doubt this will be able to run anything very substantial.

The big question in all of this is, "Does anyone really want to play Android games on a big screen TV?" So far the answers range from, "Sounds pretty stupid to me" to "I dunno, could be neat." The sooner they get one, or several, of these on the market, the sooner they'll find out if it was worth doing in the first place.

hmmmm....

((OUYA || GameStick) + (( Eclipse + Android SDK ) || (Unity + Android License)) >> APK ) + HDMI TV = JOY.

Also, gets kids learning about code on an affordable console.
As long as they don't do something stupid like lock it down to a specific market place and prevent installation of APKs from other sources.

Sounds good to me.

It looks very similar to an android TV stick I already own. The cpu seems a little bit faster but not by much.

I like this though, 2 consoles together will provide more competition to conventional consoles.

Talk about an overpriced POS. All they are hocking is a cheap 35$ Android Dongle for 80 bucks.

If you really think these kinds of system have any hope then you should put your money where your mouth is and just buy an Android dongle or Raspberry Pi.

The amount of memory and capabilities is severely limited. If you want cheap phone games go ahead. If you want games that requires real memory and power you're going to have to spend a bit on a console, or PC.

Neronium:

0p3rati0n:
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albino boo:
snip

Ah thanks for clearing that up for me. I hadn't heard anything about the Ouya in a while so I was curious.

Amazingly they plan on a March release date for the real deal. For $109 hell yeah I'll get one. And I didn't even support Ouya's kickstarter.

http://tech2.in.com/news/console/ouya-gets-unboxing-video-shows-contents-of-developer-kit/665712

Ooh, a "console" proxy war. Intriguing.

As usual I feel only the need to point out that funding any kickstarter is clearly a sign one has eaten far too many paint chips throughout one's cognitive developmental phase, as wadding up said money and throwing it from a window manages to be less wasteful and less idiotic than "kickstarting" a project clearly aimed at picking the pockets of pigeons. P.T. Barnum said it best.

medv4380:
Talk about an overpriced POS. All they are hocking is a cheap 35$ Android Dongle for 80 bucks.

Wrestle the context a bit, but this is literally how I view pretty much every kickstarter I've ever seen. Vaporware? Funded! "Console"? Funded! Feminist Frequency? Funded 26 times over!!!!

A fool and his money, etcetera and such.

Another one? Uh oh... This might be bad everyone. Kickstarter might have opened Pandora's box. Remember the last time everyone and their brother entered the Video Game market with their own console? It didn't end well...

Hitchmeister:
The big question in all of this is, "Does anyone really want to play Android games on a big screen TV?" So far the answers range from, "Sounds pretty stupid to me" to "I dunno, could be neat." The sooner they get one, or several, of these on the market, the sooner they'll find out if it was worth doing in the first place.

Yeah these are my thoughts. It's got the same problems as the OUYA in this regard; the library just isn't that interesting.

The cross-shaped d-pad is patented by Nintendo, so they bought it/didnt know about it, or this is bullshit.

(Hm or its expired by now)

In all seriousness I think it is a good thing. Obviousally it would be a wise move to let them come out rather than Kickstarting to be sure of receiving something worth having but if it diversifies the gaming market then good! Keep manufacturers on their tows and pushing the best products they can.

One thing i do see arising mind is that exclusives might be come much more of a 'thing'. Potentially android game devs should be able to design to one standard but what i think may be realistic is that Ouya or GameStick demanding exclusives off devs to tip the balance in their favor.

Just a thought, may be totally wrong.

Verkula:
The cross-shaped d-pad is patented by Nintendo, so they bought it/didnt know about it, or this is bullshit.

Dates back to the 80's so it's long since entered public domain. See way back in 2005 it expired. Patents only last 20 years at most.

Am I the only one that is annoyed over large companies using kickstarter campaigns?

I am getting a very "War Z" vibe from this... Out of nowhere comes something bearing an UNCANNY resemblance to something that exists but is still in alpha (They say it themselves; the ouya dev boxes are NOT the finished product!)...

All being said, remember kids: never be the first adopter.

I don't understand teh appeal of these as game consoles. Maybe as something to tinker with some apps/homebrew stuff. But even an ouya with tegra three is going to be like putting a scooter engine in a hummer once you attempt any kind of HD content. Its already old hardware in the mobile space what about 2 years from now when its positively ancient and your free phone from at&t is twice as powerful. The shelf life on these as game consoles has to be next to nothing.

Anything that can kick the big publishers right in the market share has to be a positive.

Hey, guys, grow up first, then you can kick each others teeth out in big console wars.

Mr.Mattress:
Another one? Uh oh... This might be bad everyone. Kickstarter might have opened Pandora's box. Remember the last time everyone and their brother entered the Video Game market with their own console? It didn't end well...

Neat link. Where this may be very different is how the games can be played on just about any Android console.

This all seems pretty plausible. When you buy a phone or tablet, most of the cost is for the display. Here, the display is your TV set.

Its.... OK?

I find it very hard to be incredibly excited for this knowing full well that there are already plenty of portable KIRFs out there that accomplish this exact same thing, ready to buy. Only real difference is aesthetic.

Example:

http://www.willgoo.com/yinlips-ydpg18a-pxn86133-game-controller-p-269.html?zenid=eb6jug265ht90b7s539aqpuo20

Set the device next to HDTV, route the video via HDMI to the tv. Utilize controller to act as... controller for games, and you can essentially play any android based game the device can understand.

While this stick does have its own "metro" XBL ish OS to hypothetically make it more streamlined... I fail to see the desire for a device that will likely have to be more expensive than 150$ USD, and despite its assertions of mobility being a feature, ends up being even less mobile than what already exists and does more.

Dont get me wrong.. I LOVE open source stuff. I think EVERYTHING hardware wise should be. I love these types of devices, but it seems like the people with the vision surrounding it, didnt quite see all the pretty trees before trying to enter the forest.

medv4380:
Talk about an overpriced POS. All they are hocking is a cheap 35$ Android Dongle for 80 bucks.

If you really think these kinds of system have any hope then you should put your money where your mouth is and just buy an Android dongle or Raspberry Pi.

The amount of memory and capabilities is severely limited. If you want cheap phone games go ahead. If you want games that requires real memory and power you're going to have to spend a bit on a console, or PC.

Well to be fair, they're selling an Android Dongle with altered OS, a controller, and a built in male HDMI plug to plug it straight into any TV.

So many people, always with the complaining before they even know what they're talking about >_>

I bet the Ouya developers are screaming ''OU'YA BASTARDS'' at them.

TallestGargoyle:

medv4380:
Talk about an overpriced POS. All they are hocking is a cheap 35$ Android Dongle for 80 bucks.

If you really think these kinds of system have any hope then you should put your money where your mouth is and just buy an Android dongle or Raspberry Pi.

The amount of memory and capabilities is severely limited. If you want cheap phone games go ahead. If you want games that requires real memory and power you're going to have to spend a bit on a console, or PC.

Well to be fair, they're selling an Android Dongle with altered OS, a controller, and a built in male HDMI plug to plug it straight into any TV.

So many people, always with the complaining before they even know what they're talking about >_>

To be fair, nearly all android dongles come with HDMI output or better. If you think a male HDMI port is worth an added 50 bucks I have some 100$ HDMI cables for you. A Bluetooth controller is also pretty cheep 10 to 20 bucks. If you have some know how you can even load up a WiiMote driver.

I'd rather have an unmodified Android OS, or standard Linux distro then waist my time fragmenting the Development Environment any further.

Maybe you should do your own homework before you make yourself into more of a hypocrite.

I -was- interested in this until I saw in the KS page Comments, the developers said that they'll have their own game marketplace, separate from the Play Store. I already have a number of games on my phone, none of which I love so much that I'll buy them again. That said, I'm now looking at a $50 HDMI Android ICS dongle on eBay that will work with the bluetooth controller I already own, and my Android games.

What are Android games?
... like, ios/flash games?

I'll pass.

 

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