The GameStick prototype inside its controller. Photo: AFP
The Ouya grabbed plenty of headlines in 2012 with its ambitious, budget-friendly console concept, and now the GameStick is looking to do the same in 2013.
Aiming to raise $100,000 over a thirty-day funding period that ends February 1, the GameStick is a pocket-sized games console for a pocket-sized price of $79.
Much like earlier Kickstarter success and Android-on-TV micro console Ouya, GameStick is heading for an April 2013 ship date.
Two features in particular differentiate it from the Ouya: the form factor and the price.
Firstly, where the palm-sized Ouya cube comes with a separate control pad, the GameStick is a memory stick-shaped gadget that plugs into a TV's HDMI port or stows away inside the GameStick controller when not in use.
Secondly, the GameStick comes in at $79, a cool $20 less than the Ouya's base price. Despite near-identical spec sheets (1GB memory, 8GB storage, WiFi and Bluetooth, running on an Android 4 OS), the GameStick opts for an AML8726-MX dual-core chip instead of the Ouya's Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and the Ouya packs in a handy ethernet port for wired data connectivity.
But what about the games? The 'Stick developer, PlayJam, is already well versed in putting games on smart TVs and has an initial line-up of eleven locked down -- Shadowgun and Dead Trigger, SmashCops, Canabalt, Boulder Dash XL, Hungry Shark, Grabatron, Pool Bar, Quiz Climber, Blue Toad Murder Files and MYFC Manager -- with more to follow in the months to come.