Jan. 4, 2013 at 1:41 PM ET
It looks like the Kickstarter-funded, Android-based, affordably priced game console known as Ouya has some competition.
Yes, it seems there's another Kickstarter-funded, Android-based, and even-more-affordably priced console coming to town. It's called the GameStick and — like Ouya — it is due to arrive in April.
As the new year rolled in, PlayJam — a company that produces casual games for mobile devices and digital TVs — launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund GameStick, which it calls "the most portable TV games console ever created." PlayJam asked for $100,000 in funding so it could ship out the first batch of GameSticks by April. But that goal has already been surpassed, with 1,674 backers pledging more than $164,000.
Like Ouya, the GameStick is made to bring Android games — originally designed for smartphones and tablets — to your home TV screen. The 2-inch gadget, pictured above, is about the size of a USB stick and plugs into the HDMI slot of any TV. It also fits inside its own controller for extra portability. And PlayJam says the price will be small as well — $79. (The small, cube-shaped Ouya is priced at $99)
"For the first time ever, it puts big screen gaming directly in your pocket," PlayJam CEO Jasper Smith, explains in the Kickstarter pitch. Smith also says that the operating environment will be entirely open to developers big and small (also like Ouya's).
The GameStick runs on Android Jelly Bean, uses an Amlogic 8726-MX processor, has 1GB of RAM and 8GB of flash storage. It also includes integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and comes with a Bluetooth controller that the GameStick itself can fit inside of for portability. Additionally, the GameStick can support up to four controllers for multiplayer games.
Though the GameStick isn't mean to play the kind of big AAA games you'd play on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, PlayJam says it has identified 200 mobile titles that can be played on your TV using GameStick . The company says it's working with more than 250 developers to create more games for the gadget when it launches. As is the case with smartphone and tablet games, the average GameStick title will cost just a few dollars and many will be free, according to PlayJam.
The device is currently in the closed Beta phase of development. But there is still plenty of time to support the GameStick cause if you like the idea. Check out the Kickstarter page here.
Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.