The Android “micro-console” market might be new, but it’s already starting to get crowded. Not only do we have the Ouya, there are also plenty of upcoming devices like the Gamestick, MadCatz M.O.J.O and even possibly a Google console.
Then there’s the Bluestacks GamePop, an Android game console with a twist: you get as many apps as you can handle just by paying a monthly fee. It seems that BlueStacks isn’t content with just one model however, as the company has now announced that there will also be an even cheaper system, the so-called GamePop Mini.
So what’s different about this ‘mini’ variant? While an early pre-order deal gave customers a chance to get the GamePop free by pre-paying for a year’s worth of subscription service (around $84), the main console actually will retail for around $129. In contrast, the GamePop Mini will be “free forever”.
The catch is that you will have to sign a contract for 12-months of service at a price of $6.99 a month. Under the contract, if you stick through all twelve months you can then cancel at any time and still keep the GamePop Mini hardware.
For those that find that the GamePop Mini isn’t all it was cracked up to be, they can cancel at any time during the 12-month period and all they will be required to do is send back the console and pay a $25 restocking fee.
Wondering how the devices will compare? BlueStacks says that both versions will run Jelly Bean 4.2 and connect via HDMI. The two devices will also access to the same game library, which will consist of hundreds of titles from major mobile developers such as HalfBrick, Intellijoy and Glu.
The key difference between the two models is that the GamePop Mini is more compact in design and won’t have as beefy of hardware. There also may end up being more peripherals for GamePop that won’t necessarily work with the Mini.
On the positive side, BlueStacks says that the Mini will still be “able to handle all of your favorite apps and games plenty well”.
This is certainly a different approach than what we are seeing from the competition. The question is whether customers will go for the BlueStack Mini’s subscription model or not. What do you think, could you see yourself picking one of these up?