Last year BlueStacks announced that it was coming up with an Android gaming console called GamePop. Initially there were going to be two versions of the device, the GamePop which has a blocky triangular shape and the GamePop Mini which looks like a regular USB flash drive. Now we are learning that the device has undergone a design change and the final version is going to be a single device that resembles the GamePop Mini. The company said that this new device is expected to ship out soon.
BlueStacks is also changing its business model for the deivce. Instead of selling it directly to consumers the company will instead sell it to cable companies who will then have the option to bundle gaming into their existing services. Those who have previously ordered the device will still be getting it and will be able to use it even without a cable subscription.
The new GamePop is a small HDMI dongle that plugs directly into the TV. It is made of glossy plastic and has a nice compact shape that allows it to remain out of sight.
The controller is shaped like a wand although its button configuration will remind you of the Super Nintendo controller complete with a D pad and X, Y, B, A buttons. According to the company it is “the finest game controller ever designed for enjoying the most popular games and apps on TV.” It can also be used as a gesture controller for controlling touch based input.
Instead of consumers buying single games for the GamePop the system charges $6.99 a month which will provide access to the 500 available games. It’s more like a Netflix style system that’s applied to Android gaming. The advantage to this is that you can get started right away without downloading the software. All you have to do is navigate the menu system and choose your game. The downside to this is that the games are not properly categorized so it may take a long time for you to search your favorite title. Then there’s also the “No connection” error displayed on the screen whenever a game has been removed from the google Play store yet is still available at the GamePop library.
In terms of performance the new GamePop delivers Android gaming to the TV rather quite well. It won’t however be able to compete against the major console devices in the market today such as the PS4 and the Xbox One.
Right now the company aims to push this as a gray label product, something that cable companies can entice its subscribers by bundling a gaming service.