Jan 9, 2013
With the advent of Ouya, the wildly successful Android powered, open-source gaming console, there have been a flood of new and unique console ideas. Weather this is the start of a new era in gaming where the power is decentralized and given to small indie developers remains to be seen, and the success of Ouya will probably be the biggest barometer of that. One thing that these consoles have going for it that many startups did not traditionally have in the past is an established library of games and a seasoned operating system. Coming hand-in-hand with this lowered bar of entry are a lot of optimistic and eager developers hoping that their Android powered console will, for one reason or another, reign supreme or at least get a large slice of the pie in this new frontier. Making it even easier for these entrepreneurs is the fact that unlike the past there now exists tremendously powerful crowd funding resources that were not available to game developers of the past.
So with that being said, we are going to take a look at one hopeful called GameStick which takes the idea of the console and tries to render it completely useless. The developers behind GameStick have taken a small sized gaming console like the Ouya and were able to fit it into about the size of a large flash drive that plugs directly into the HDMI port on a TV. The kicker here is that this ‘flash drive’ is able to be stored inside of its controller which makes the entire system incredible portable in a way that no system has been able to do before. The games, and especially the home UI that was shown in their KickStarter video all looked great on an HD TV and they claim to have over 200 titles already ready for launch.
This all sounds great but I do have a few reservations, one being that because this is so small there has to be something sacrificed and my feeling is that this will work well for the current wave of mobile games, but what will happen to future games when phone get even more processing power and start to outpace the GameStick. If the price is right though maybe it would be cost effective to just buy an updated version of the GameStick, but this does not exactly breed confidence in the product. Also, I am not a fan of the initial controller design. It looks too square and does not seem comfortable in the slightest.
Even after all that I do feel that GameStick could potentially have a great future because it will be cheap at around $100 and will launch with a large and established library of games. Assuming they can get their wonky controller whittled down to size and deliver some solid hardware I see no reason that the GameStick could not “stick” around with us for some time.