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January 04, 2013

New GameStick Wireless Console Plugs into TV, Size of a Stick of Gum

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

Last year, the Ouya game console was the talk of the gaming community for its innovative and unique features, as well as its moderate price of $99. The compact console was funded via Kickstarter, where it gained record-breaking pledges of millions of dollars from gamers wishing to see it made. The console operates on Android (News - Alert) OS, generally relegated to smartphones and tablets , and is able to plug directly into the user’s television.

Now GameStick is looking to follow in Ouya’s footsteps, and utilize these same exciting aspects for its own new console. So, what’s so great about this? Well, GameStick is taking Ouya’s good ideas and making them great ideas.

While the Ouya system, set for release in April, has been described as about the size of a Rubik’s cube, the GameStick resembles more of a USB memory stick or a stick of gum. The console connects wirelessly via Bluetooth to a controller, keyboard or mouse, and uses the TV’s HDMI port. Additionally, the system comes with its own custom gamepad, featuring a home for the GameStick when not in use, and two identical analog sticks.

Information on the console has been pretty scarce so far, although GameStick’s creators have released pictures of a prototype, entitled “Mark 1 Prototype Model,” as well as a video of another, possibly beta version of the product, called a “Reference Board.”

The video showed the device playing games while plugged into a TV, just like the GameStick would supposedly do, and visually the device seems similar to the GameStick, but no official connection has been made between the two as of yet.

According to the GameStick’s creators, “We have some great games lined up already,” to work with the console, and so far about a dozen games including some AAA Android titles will be released along with the console. But when will that exactly be?

The release date is set for April 2013, as the console has already reached its own Kickstarter goal of $100,000, and still has 28 days left in its fundraising period. For those looking to pre-order the device, it is available via the Kickstarter page for an even lower price than its Ouya competitor, at $79.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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