Well, it was really only a matter of time. When you look back at gaming a decade ago, handheld gaming followed the same logic as console gaming -- you had closed platforms and only a smattering of players. If it didn't ship for Nintendo, Microsoft
(or Sega, before that), it wasn't shipping. But look at gaming today. Perhaps the biggest threat to industry stalwarts like Nintendo isn't Sony or Microsoft, but players like Apple and Google -- companies that never even tried to enter the gaming space, but are now enjoying huge success there thanks to a vibrant app community and developers who have ported games to Android and iOS.
Now, imagine a crossover world where those Android titles were made available for the TV. Companies like Infinitec have already ported the whole of Android to simple HDMI sticks that can be plugged into essentially any modern HDTV
, but a company called PlayJam is taking that very idea and making it even more precise. Their HDMI stick, while running Android, focuses solely on delivering Android games to the television, not necessarily all of Android.
It's a 2" stick with an onboard SoC and memory, and it plugs directly into an HDMI socket. From there, you'll be able to load up Android games and play them on a larger screen. The GameStick, as it's called, feels like a tweaked version of sticks that we've already seen. Internally, there's a Amlogic 8726-MX processor, 1GB of DDR3 memory, 8GB of Flash storage, built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Android Jelly Bean, and full 1080p HD video decoding support. But the real magic is the controller. The company has designed its own control, and as with any console, the input mechanism generally makes or breaks it. While their controller looks essentially like an original NES controller, but more rounded and with the addition or two analog joysticks, it sort of fits the bill for the kinds of games that surface on Google Play.
As of now, the project is halfway funded, with a goal of $100k within reach. A $69 pledge will get you the stick and a controller, and you can see if it's a project you'd be interested in backing at the Via link below.