Looking to do to the video game industry what Netflix did to the way many watch movies, start-up mobile company BlueStacks has revealed a new console in the form of ‘GamePop’, which will be planned for release by the end of this year with a subscription model for running unlimited games via streaming.
The intriguing concept for games (almost ‘cubic’, if you will), will see owners of the Android-based console able to play connected games on their TV via either a console controller, or through a supporting iOS/Android smartphone device.
In exchange for $6.99 per month, GamePop members will be able to access the entire 500+ library of games which will be available (at the time of writing), a notable difference to fellow new industry streamers such as Ouya and the PlayJam GameStick, both offering a mixture of streamed gaming and the traditional consoles’ tried-and-trusted ‘per-game’ transaction model.
This obviously leaves GamePop’s proposals as a clear risk due to being something that has never been tried before, and despite aspiring to be the ‘Netflix of games’, will need to have high-quality content in order to gain popularity and reach such a level.
The console, having formally been announced, is turning over to the ‘pre-order phase’ fairly swiftly, with people who take up the offer this month (free of charge until the console is released’), with users able to work under a no-strings-attached system, returning the console at no extra cost if they cancel their subscription within a year, meaning that after a $10 shipping fees and 12 monthly payments of $6.99, the GamePop product will be owned by the customer with no extra cost.
While there are still plenty of details to be revealed by BlueStacks in the coming months, they have claimed to have brought in ‘big name developer support’ from the likes of ‘Halfbrick Studios’ and ‘Glu Mobile’, amongst others, on a flexible model that will primarily see them split subscription revenue 50-50 with the game makers they partner with.
Though it will have to aim for being the 3rd most notable games console of the year at best, and will like the new Xbox probably have an always-online element to it, but could the BlueStacks GamePop be forgiven for such a feature given the nature of their service, or will a lower quality of games hamper their hopes of success? To make early judgements for yourself, a video preview of the console, along with the official press release from BlueStacks, can be seen below:
BlueStacks Announces GamePop, Brings Famous Mobile Games to TV
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.