It hasn’t been that long since OUYA, the first Android-based gaming console hit its minimum on Kickstarter and started production for mass-deployment that another Android-based console managed to come out. Take a look at GameStick. This new competitor to OUYA promises much more mobility and practicality, but is still rather a bit restrictive as far as hardware goes. We now witness a sort of trade-of between mobility and performance, sort of like people that choose Ultrabooks instead of Laptops ( often, the Ultrabook of the same price with the Laptop is weaker in certain departments ).
However, the price is not to be considered here, as the good folks at GameStick do not try to make something more expensive or even equal in price to OUYA, but they went the extra mile in trying to undercut their production price. How they both work and what limitations they both have will remain to be seen as none has really come out OFFICIALLY.
OUYA made a few waves when it first launched on KickStarter, as people were interested in seeing a gaming console which runs Android. They did indeed manage to make their minimum ( were over-funded, really ) and they already shipped their first consoles, as promised, in December to the very first individuals that pledged. A bit later, in 2013, GameStick came out as a direct competitor to it, except with a different approach. OUYA itself tried to be as small as they could be, being thus limited to just a minuscule fist-sized box with a controller, but GameStick, as their name would suggest, went even lower sizes.
What GameStick features is a similar interface, as one would assume from the preliminary images shown in the KickStarter video ( at the end of this article, you can see for yourself ). Just like OUYA, it will also be open and the company making it is already in the process of working with developers in order to bring titles to the console ( fact in which it may have an advantage since they had already been working with developers to port titles to the SmartTV for the past 3 years ). The design of this GameStick is what sets it apart from the OUYA – it is a tiny USB flash drive looking device with an HDMI connector instead of the USB one. It ships with its own Bluetooth controller in which it actually fits inside of when you want to pack it for travel.
As far as the hardware of the GameStick goes, this device packs an Amlogic 8726-MX processor ( which is a Dual-Core Cortex A9 chip at 1.5 GHz along with a Dual-Core Mali 400 GPU at 400 MHz ), around 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage. It uses Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi for connectivity. The GameStick also runs Android Jelly Bean. It can connect to all sorts of Bluetooth controllers such as Gamepads, Mice and Keyboard and it supports up to 4 simultaneous controllers. The processor, while weaker than OUYA’s Tegra 3 ( which is specifically made for games ) is justified due to its unique power and heat requirements compared to GameStick’s extremely portable form factor. The creators of this device claim that it should prove more than sufficient to handle today’s games and requirements for apps.
This device hopes to ship out by April 2013 with the prototypes going out to early backers by March. If you are keeping track, that would put it around 1 month behind OUYA in terms of making it to the market, should both of them stick to their anticipated timelines. The GameStick is also priced at 79 dollars, meaning it also hopes to undercut the competition as far as price goes. It has already been fully funded. However, they have put multiple Bonus options as well. In case they reach their final goal, they will add multiple colors to the device and even add a MicroSD card slot to the stick. Here is the KickStarter trailer they released: