The list of Android games consoles continues to grow as companies look to benefit from the increasing number of good quality Android games that are available. GameStick is the latest release in this category and whereas Bluestacks requires a yearlong commitment and the upcoming NVidia Shield will cost a couple of hundred pounds, the Playstick sits at just £80 for the console and a single controller although you will have to part with more if you want additional hardware, such as a second controller or a dock.
Gamestick was borne thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $600,000; considerably more than its $100,000 target. It’s set to launch in July this year and is barely bigger than a flash drive. It has an ARM A9 dual core processor and Mali 400 GPU. It also has 8GB of internal memory which can be expanded to 32GB thanks to the microSD slot. You will even be able to download an app to your mobile phone that will allow touch screen and tilt gaming.
The Gamestick will cost £79 for the stick and a single controller while additional controllers, four of which can be paired to a single Gamestick, cost £36. A dock for charging controllers costs £36 so the cost will mount up if you want all the bells and whistles.
However, it won’t cost as much as the NVidia Shield. The Quad Core ARM Cortex powered device has touchpad and touchscreen on board as well as a custom 72 core NVidia GeForce GPU. It will launch in America at an equivalent of £229 next month although it does have its own screen and is seen as more of a means to showcase NVidia’s graphics talents.
The Ouya is going on sale at $99 which is roughly £65 and makes this a real bargain. It too has a quad core processor and utilises an NVidia graphics card. It also has a good looking design and is easy for developers to work with; all games will include at least a free demo so you shouldn’t struggle to find something to play for the whole family.
When it comes to unique pricing models, it is the Bluestacks that wins hands down. Strictly speaking you don’t pay anything for the cube shaped device but you do have to commit to a one year gaming subscription costing, with shipping, $93. Whether the “Netflix of gaming” will be able to pull this subscription model off remains to be seen.
In our opinion, while the Shield takes it for specs and quality, it is even more expensive than the Playstation Vita and the Bluestacks model means that users may feel that $7 a month is a lot for inexpensive app type games. This leaves us with the Ouya and the Gamestick to choose from and the slightly better specs of the Ouya make this the Android console to beat.