Let’s face it, no matter how big any of these new Android phones turn out to be, gaming on them still wouldn’t be as fun as when you do it on an actual, full-size TV. There’s a certain type of immersion that you can only get from a 40- or 50-inch flatscreen television while playing with the lights off and 5.1-channel surround sound blasts all around you from a stereo in the same room. In light of this, BlueStacks — a software company responsible for a popular Android emulator for the desktop — has announced that it will now offer its very own Android games console to try and take on the whole Android gaming industry and turn it up… to 12.
It’s called GamePop, and it has just been made available as the first free Android games console — with a slight twist. You can only get it through a month-long promotion as part of a $6.99 monthly service subscription. In other words, it’s a subscription-based gaming service not unlike similar offerings that we’ve already seen before. But BlueStacks is trying to differentiate GamePop from everything else by bundling a free console and controller as part of the monthly service.
The great thing about GamePop is that it doesn’t require any special development to be used as an Android games console (unlike Ouya, for instance). According to BlueStacks, it will be able to run Android games natively, so you can just plug it in, turn on your Android device, and get to playing pretty much right away. We’re not completely convinced that this kind of setup will work without problems, but we would definitely be impressed if it did.
One important thing that’s worth noting is the fact that if you want to place a pre-order for the GamePop now, you’re going to have to pay for a year’s worth of service up-front. That means that your total bill for your first transaction with BlueStacks (for GamePop) will amount to about $84 USD at least. That’s the price of convenience, apparently.
If you want to find out more about the kind of titles that you will be able to play on the GamePop console once it arrives, as well as how the whole GamePop gaming service will play out if you do sign up for it, then check out the information laid out in the press release below.
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.