There's quite a bit to cover here, so let's start with the console itself. If you haven't heard of GamePop before, it's essentially an alternative to Ouya, but rather than buy games outright, BlueStacks is promoting a Netflix-like subscription model that runs $6.99 per month. In return, you get access to over 500 paid games worth over $200 that you can play on your TV via the console. You control the games using the gamepad that comes with it, or you can use motion control from your iPhone or Android device.
The Hardware is Really Free?
For a limited time, BlueStacks is offering its GamePop console and controller for free, though there are some caveats. The first is that you have to pre-order by the end of June (the promotion was originally scheduled to end in May, but due to the "high demand of pre-orders," the company decided to extend the offer). When it ships, you'll be billed $6.99 for the first month of service plus $9.95 for shipping in the U.S. ($19.90 for international shipping).
The other caveat is that you have to remain a subscriber for 12 months. If you cancel your subscription before then, you either have to send the console and controller back to BlueStacks "in working order within 30 days of cancelling" and pay a $25 restocking fee, or keep the hardware and pay a $100 early termination charge.
After June, BlueStacks will sell the console and controller for $129 outright. You'll still have to subscribe at $6.99/month to play games, but you'll be able to cancel at any time with any fees.
BlueStacks hasn't yet revealed the hardware inside its GamePop console, though it did promise that games will run just as fast or faster than they do on the top mobile phones. The company also claims the controller is "like none seen before," though isn't saying exactly how or why.
What do you think, will Android consoles find a place in our living rooms, or will they get trampled by the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U?