Could you possibly imagine a gaming console the size of a memory stick? Sounds impossible? Well, this scenario is due to become a reality in April 2013 when the 2 inch (5.08 cm) GameStick console is due to start being shipped out to customers.
Before the developers of the GameStick, PlayJam, could put their idea in motion, they had some serious constraints - how to squeeze all that technology into a small housing.
The GameStick challenge - Get something this big (the one on the left) into something this big (the one on the right)
Seemingly, they have been successful and over 2600 backers on the GameStick Kickstarter page believe in the success of the idea, with sufficient funding being raised for the project after only 2 days.
"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. It's tiny! So small in fact that GameStick fits inside it's own controller so you can take all your games with you to any TV you like, anywhere."
The console, similar to the eSfere, NVIDIA's "Project Shield" and the OUYA, will be using Android as the operating system. With "700,000 Android games in the Android ecosystem", it seems to be a popular choice for a good reason. Of course the other side of it, which the developers of the GameStick correctly point out, the typical price of an Android game is either a free or only a few bob. Probably not for hardcore gamers, sure, but really great for novice or young gamers to get into gaming.
Success! Funding targets achieved. The GameStick is set to become a reality.
The technical specifications for the console are as follows:
- 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.
From a deliver perspective, the first units should be shipped out to customers as early as April 2013, so you might even get the chance to put one of these micro-consoles onto your 2013 Christmas list (assuming they make it to SA).
The GameStick Development and Production Schedule
My prediction for 2013 is that we are going to see a proliferation of Android-based consoles as the Google operating system makes its leap from smartphone to a TV near you. The OS is free, there are already a ton of games and other great content available...it just makes sense. Will they be a strong competition for XBOX, PlayStation and Nintendo? Nope, I don't think so, but I do think we will be seeing an increase in console gamers because of these entry-level devices. At an estimated retail price of a lowly $79 for the GameStick, its going to get appeal at the low end. Now that the PS2 production has been stopped, there will be a gap in the market.
The GameStick KickStarter Video
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