Known for bringing Android apps to Windows and the Mac, Bluestacks is following Ouya with the launch of its own independent Android console called Gamepop. Positioning itself as a "Netflix for games" but with hardware, Bluestacks will provide Gamepop owners with unlimited access to Android titles for a $6.99 monthly fee, and will even throw in a free console and gaming controller to kick off its May pre-orders.
Bluestacks' VP of Marketing John Gargiulo tells The Verge that Gamepop will run a customized version of Android 4.2, emulating Ouya with a custom UI. While the Gamepop's design appears to have borrowed a bit from Ouya and Boxee, the company says its hardware is capable of "running all the top Android games today." Gargiulo believes that Bluestacks's battle will be "won on content," signing up notable gaming studios Glu, Halfbrick, Jawfish Games, and Gameloft to deliver customized Gamepop experiences.
Gamepop aims to beat Ouya with a "Netflix for games" approach, winning on content, not hardware
Gamepop will include multiplayer games that will allow players to use their smartphone to interact with supported titles, offering a dedicated iOS and Android app that can utilize a device's built-in sensors to play mobile games on the big screen. Its creators believe that Gamepop is more of a service than it is a product, and may eventually bring it to multiple platforms beyond the console.
Pre-orders are already open for Gamepop, which offer the console and a controller free as part of its monthly subscription (paid annually) until the end of May. International orders are accepted but will ship internationally soon after the US, and you will not be charged until it ships. Bluestacks says that while it hasn't decided on a final price, it will likely fall around the $100 mark and will start shipping to customers "this winter."