Hot on the heels of OUYA’s achievement of shipping out 1,200 consoles to developers comes a brand-new Kickstarter project that looks to directly compete with the platform. It’s called GameStick, and takes a slightly different approach to TV gaming than other solutions. Rather than have a dedicated box, such as with a traditional game console, GameStick comes in the form of a small thumb drive that plugs into a display’s HDMI port. It’s self-powered, so the ease-of-installation is excellent.
As much as its name fits the bill, “GameStick” really strikes me as being uninspired. That carries over to the gamepad, which doesn’t look too dissimilar to a Wii Classic controller, but with far more of a rectangular shape. It’ll be a step-up in the comfort department from the regular NES controller, but I’m not sure just how much more comfortable it’ll actually be. We can only hope other variations are considered during the development process.
Like OUYA, GameStick is based on Android and will feature its own front-end. You’ll be able to delve into one of the hundreds of thousands of games available through Google’s Play Store, however those that natively feature gamepad support will undoubtedly be the most fun to play.
Given the size of the GameStick, it’d be easy to assume that it’ll lack overall horsepower, but the developers believe the Cortex-A9 Amlogic 8726-MX will be ample enough for any game currently on the marketplace. It’ll also include 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage and support 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0. OS-wise, it will ship with Jelly Bean.
The folks behind the project already have experience with bringing gaming to the TV, so we may just see the project succeed and gain OUYA a competitor at the same time. Between them, OUYA still holds more of my attention, but GameStick does tackle things from an interesting angle. If only the gamepad had a bit more thought go into it…