New Android gaming console: free with a Netflix-like monthly subscription
Android pops up in the strangest places. Smartphones and tablets are the most obvious places to find Google’s open-source OS, but there are also Android-based cameras, cars, and even fridges. The latest craze is Android gaming consoles. Emulator-maker BlueStacks has just announced one of its own – which it will give you "for free" when you sign up for a monthly subscription.
BlueStacks is best known for its Android emulators for PCs, but the company is now using its Android expertise to jump into the hardware business. The company’s game console, Gamepop, is a combo of console, controller, and Netflix-like gaming subscription.
In addition to a standard controller (which curiously isn't pictured in Gamepop's promo vid or on its website), you can also control Gamepop games with an Android phone or iPhone.
For US$6.99 per month, Gamepop gives you access to “500+ top games.” We don’t know how many of those will be games that you’ll actually want to play, since developers will need to partner with BlueStacks to get their games onto Gamepop (they get 50 percent of subscription fees, based on portion of use). The company’s teaser video shows popular titles like Jetpack Joyride, Fruit Ninja, and Rayman Jungle Run.
The console and controller will only be free with a subscription through the month of May. After that, new subscribers will need to throw down an unspecified sum to get in on the action.Bluestacks is keeping mum on the console’s specs, so we don’t know how powerful a console we’re getting here. The company mentions “great, 3D, high production value content,” which is encouraging. But it would be nice to have a better idea how much horsepower this bad boy has. Two years from now, high-end Android games should be more taxing on processor and GPU. Right now, we don’t know enough to say whether Gamepop will still be up to the challenge.
Intrigued, but not 100 percent sure if Gamepop is for you? You can find out more in the company’s video below.