Gadgets for humans

Tiny Android games console GameStick, a Kickstarter hit, will offer support for XBMC and DLNA


Android-based games console GameStick, which reached its Kickstarter funding target in 30 hours this week, has announced support for the popular XBMC media hub software and the DLNA media sharing spec.

GameStick is similar to OUYA, another Android-based games console that raised funding on Kickstarter and started shipping developer kits this week. However, billed as ‘The Most Portable TV games Console Ever Created’, this $79 device is essentially a 2-inch stick that fits inside its own controller. Games are then played on a regular TV.

PlayJam, the company behind the device says that it is working with more than 250 developers to create a varied catalog of unique games. It says that there have been more than 300 developer registrations via the GameStick website. A new funding tier on Kickstarter has been added, offering developers early access to the SDK and 30 days premium positioning within the games store, priced at $500. The GameStick will be based upon PlayJam’s Games Network for Smart TV which currently supports developers including Relentless Software, First Star Software, and Disney.

Having reached its Kickstarter target of $100,000 in little over one day, it’s not been confirmed that beyond gaming, the console will support XBMC, one of the most popular media centers today. This will allow the device to play a wide range of video and audio formats. Meanwhile, DLNA support means that it will be compatible with any DLNA devices on the same WiFi network, allowing for quick, wireless connections to TVs, for example.

Although the GameStick is scheduled to ship to early backers in April this year, XBMC and DLNA support will be added by way of an optional firmware upgrade in September.

The clear demand for low-cost, Android-powered games consoles is a notable trend, and it will be interesting to see what chunk of the existing market they take a bite out of. Will people settle for relatively low-power games over the next generation of traditional consoles from Microsoft and Sony? Or will these devices simply make a nice, cheap, hackable addition to the truly hardcore gamer’s arsenal. We look forward to finding out.

If you’re interested in backing GameStick on Kickstarter, you have 27 days left.

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Published January 4, 2013 — 13:54 UTC