09
May
2013-05-08_18h11_10

Guys, stop talking about the Ouya for a second. Bluestacks has a different console it would like you to pay attention to: GamePop. The company that has previously worked on interoperability between Android software and other platforms, is now launching a console of its own. The hardware—including a console and physical controller—will be entirely free for people who pre-order. The catch? You have to pay for a subscription to play games.

The entire package will come with one console and one physical controller, though you'll also be able to use your smartphone as a controller as well. If you pre-order by in May (which you can do starting now) the service will cost $6.99 per month and the hardware will be free. However, like Amazon Prime, you'll have to pay up front for a year. That still leaves the total price at $84 for the first year, which is les than the cost of an Ouya by itself. However, once you stop paying, naturally your games go away.

The comparisons to Netflix and Spotify are obvious, though how this will work with a game console remains to be seen. In the movie industry, Netflix requires a large number of users to get enough cash to buy more content. In the mobile gaming field, however, IP is not so entrenched as to require huge investments. In fact, Bluestacks is already partnering with Glu Mobile, Halfbrick, and other prominent game developers. Not all of them, mind you, but enough to catch some people's attention. There are still a number of big name mobile developers left to woo (no platform is complete without Angry Birds, for example), but the field is much less capital intensive than movie and music businesses.

The other big distinguishing factor here is that Bluestacks claims the console will not need any special development for the platform, unlike Ouya. Due to the nature of Bluestacks' compatibility software, titles will already run on the TV natively. This sounds like good news, however the question has to be raised, how good will the experience be? Not many games are aready written to use your smartphone as a controller for a separate display, so that alone would require new code for most titles. This is an instance where we'll have to wait and see how the final device works once we have it.

So, when will that be? Bluestacks is aiming for a winter (read: probably holiday) release. The console and controller are valued at $100, so if you don't pre-order by May, you can probably expect to pay about that much. So far, we only know that the free hardware will be available for early backers, but it's unclear what the price will be afterwards. If you want to get in on it, you can get your pre-order on here.

Source: Bluestacks

BlueStacks Announces GamePop, Brings Famous Mobile Games to TV
Mobile gaming comes to the living room via new product, service; several top developers on board

Palo Alto, CA  May 9, 2013 – Mobile company BlueStacks today announced a new gaming console and subscription service called GamePop. The system includes a custom console and gaming controller free as part of the $6.99 per month service for May pre-orders only. This marks the first time a gaming console has been offered free with a subscription. The company recently passed 10 million users of its App Player software, which allows mobile games to be played on Mac or PC.

BlueStacks has also announced content deals today with several top game developers for the new platform, including Glu Mobile, Halfbrick, and OutFit7 - makers of the popular Talking Tom series.

"BlueStacks has credibility in the microconsole space that others just don't have," said Shainiel Deo, CEO of Halfbrick. "We've been a featured partner in App Player since early on and they've delivered on every promise in terms of distribution. GamePop is a great incremental channel for us." 

Other Google app-makers with the coveted “Top Developer” badge coming on the platform include the #1 kids app-maker Intellijoy, as well as Deemedya, Chinese wunderkind Droidhen and many more yet to be announced. “Mobile gaming has been taking off the past few years. BlueStacks' vision is to bring that same experience to bigger screens,” said BlueStacks CEO, Rosen Sharma. The all-you-can-eat pricing model for GamePop lets users enjoy a much broader range of games, just as you can watch more movies with Netflix versus the pay-as-you-go model Blockbuster employed."

“Mobile gamers continue to show higher levels of engagement and longer play sessions on larger form factors,” said Glu CEO, Niccolo de Masi. “BlueStacks and GamePop offer developers like Glu an opportunity to potentially reach a new audience of gamers with great 3D, high-production value content. We see significant potential in BlueStacks’ approach to the console gaming market.” Developers keep all of the in-app purchases that run through their apps with GamePop - BlueStacks does not take any share. Additionally, 50% of GamePop subscription revenue will be shared back with developers, apportioned by usage.

BlueStacks plans to market GamePop subscriptions directly from GamePop.tv, which went live today. Their main site, BlueStacks.com the company announced for the first time today clocks 1.6 million unique visitors every month and growing. GamePop will also be featured on BlueStacks’ Facebook page, where they maintain a community of 1.2 million fans.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/jheyneman James Heyneman

    Immediately, I thought of Office Space and the Jump to Conclusions Mat.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlA9bNk3b5Q

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone

    I think I speak for us all when I say, meh

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

    I find it a little ironic that you started the article with the line "Guys, stop talking about the Ouya for a second" because my first thought when I saw the picture and the heading was "ya know, I haven't heard about the Ouya in awhile."

    I'm not going to bash this thing because I think competition is a great thing, but I do have some reservations. First of all, I'm going to continue sticking to the big name consoles for console gaming. I will most likely get an Ouya when I can because I love the concept, but primarily because I can afford to. If I was on a tighter budget, I probably wouldn't bother with the Ouya for the foreseeable future. Ouya's biggest downside to me is that you still need a console of some sort (albeit very small), so you still need to carry something extra if you want to play at a friend's house. This simply doesn't solve that. Honestly, it doesn't seem to offer anything "better" than Ouya, so it probably wouldn't be on my radar.

    On a side note, did they just blatantly copy the design of the boxee box?

    • Paul

      In this case competition may not be a good thing. Too many Android phones, coming out too quickly, is creating a bit of a headache for developers. I love Android, don't get me wrong, but I do believe Google needs to lock down standards more, but I don't think it's possible, not easily. If there are 20 or 30 console options running Android, why would a developer try and support them all? If there's 1 or 2, maybe, but any more than that and a developers will just toss their hands up in the air and move on. We develop a lot of Android apps and our test team has over 30 different Android makes and models (just phones, we have another 10 tablets) across all 4 major U.S carriers, I'm not kidding, we have a pool of 30 test phones (+15 tablets), so that we can test our software on all of them. Imagine 10 or so consoles becoming popular, that's 10 additional devices to test... I don't think there needs to be competition in the console arena, pick 2 or 3 strong/good Android consoles and everyone else go away.

      • David Thornton

        Would this be the same as hooking up an mini android PC box(about $35) to your TV with a wireless keyboard (about $20) to play games on your TV.

        You make your software work with the wireless keyboard, that would be cheaper than getting the console and a subscription.

  • http://twitter.com/lusky3 lusky3

    No touchscreen on the controller = instant pass for me.

    • Martim Cortez de Lobão

      ...the controller is your smartphone...

  • Loren Cogar

    So after you pay for the first year can you just root it and basically have an Ouya and cancel service

    • David Hart

      This is what I want to know as well. As long as it's running android you've got nothing to lose.

      • ianoopt

        I just pre-ordered one for the same reason.

  • denbo68

    I get an allergic reaction to subscription model software.

    • http://twitter.com/SourabhSekhar12 Sourabh Sekhar

      Sigh......XBOX Live Gold subscription

  • http://twitter.com/SourabhSekhar12 Sourabh Sekhar

    i never quite understood why anyone would buy a OUYA,when we can just play games on our tv with MHL/HDMI out from the phones we have(if you need a controller so much,then buy a mOGA or something like that) .or we can simply use bluestacks to run games on our PC

    • Paul

      A simple Android interface to the television and you don't understand it? I use XBMC and Plex all the time, runs great on my phone, now I can use it to watch tons of movies and T.V shows on my T.V. It turns a dumb T.V into a smart t.v; netflix, hulu, youtube, pandora, etc. all have apps for Android. I plan to use my Ouya mainly for T.V watching and such and play the occasional game. For $99 you can't beat the price, it's superior to a Roku or any other set top box because of how much more capable it is. Plus it'll enable your T.V to receive Miracast content, like from your Android phone or from the Project Shield thing, send a video stream straight to the T.V, by way of the Ouya, no wires. The Ouya is INCREDIBLY versatile, not just as a gaming thing, and for $99? Seriously?

  • Paul

    What CPU does this thing have in it? How
    are its specs comparable to the OUYA? The OUYA has a Tegra 3 CPU. If you prepay for this thing, $7 a month for 1 year, $84, what happens after you stop paying, do they take their hardware back? At least you own your OUYA, at least it's factory rooted, easily hackable (encouraged even), and can run things like XBMC and other titles. I think I'd rather own the hardware, unless this GamePop thing has much much better specs than the Ouya.

  • DavidEssex

    No sir. Don't much like it.

  • Steve Green

    Wow Glu Mobile? Now you can have IAP on a console you rent!
    What a wonderful new idea, you can pay and pay and pay and the games are crap.

    • Matthew Fry

      It's the new Pay 2 Pay 2 Play model. It'll be big.

  • Matthew Fry

    Qualms:

    1) Let's make the console a box but then smash one of the corners!
    2) The "World's Largest Selection of Mobile Games?" Doesn't iOS still win right now? Definitely, if you exclude knock offs.
    3) The next innovation in mobile games is to anchor the mobile game to a television and add a controller? Wait...
    4) This is the logical conclusion to IAPs. Do you see, casual gamers? Do you see what your financial ineptitude has wrought?

  • primalxconvoy

    Unless the console is free, this will die. It's a ludicrous as Netflix having started their business by selling propriety dvd players to use their service.

  • Not always on #dealwithit

    Monthly subscription is just enforcing piracy right there and if this does kick off I hoe people will pirate the hell out of it cause who in their right mind wants monthly fees just to play a few good games.

  • Mario Miniaci

    Apparently my Ouya is somewhere in the post. I kickstarted it as I liked the idea and had a bad experience with a cheap Android stick. Having said that, I would pay a couple of quid for an official Sony dualshock app, if there was a 'works with Dualshock' scheme for games. Dualshock is great but Sixaxis etc annoy me when I have trouble using it.