Ouya, Project Mojo, GameStick, Unu, and GamePop — a growing flood of small, inexpensive, Android-powered game consoles are currently fighting for a spot in your entertainment center. Even Google is reportedly building a console. On Friday, BlueStacks announced the GamePop Mini, a console that's will be about the size of a pack of bubble gum, and free for those who commit to a 1-year subscription to its online gaming service — which is also called GamePop.
"We've said it before, but we're working really hard to build a 'Netflix for games,'" Rosen Sharma, BlueStacks' CEO, told The Verge. "We can't do that if we don't get subscribers. And we think people will be more inclined to give us a shot if they don't have to pay for the console itself." The GamePop Mini will only be available with a subscription to the GamePop service, Sharma said, adding the package deal will be available for pre-order on July 1st. The Mini is the second console that BlueStacks is offering, sitting alongside the larger, standard GamePop console announced back in May. Company spokesman John Gargiulo described the standard GamePop console — half-jokingly — as being "about the size of Vin Diesel's fist."
One console as big as a pack of gum, another as big as 'Vin Diesel's fist'
"We aren't ready to get into too much detail on hardware just yet," Sharma said, declining to talk about the specs of either device. Despite the size differences between the two products, the company said that both devices will offer the same gaming experience, and use the same gaming controllers, which BlueStacks hasn't shown off yet either. The standard GamePop console will have a few more ports than the Mini, and it will work with some extra accessories, Sharma said. While both will run iOS and Android games (something other Android consoles can't claim), neither have official ship dates yet.
BlueStacks currently offers its standard GamePop console for free with a 1-year subscription in a promotion that expires July 1. Once the Mini is available for pre-order, the larger console will then be sold for $129, though a subscription will still be required to access GamePop's gaming service. "There will always be one free console for GamePop, but we'd like to see our service on not only our devices, but devices from others as well, eventually," Sharma said. "That's the plan. That's always been the plan. Look at Netflix — it's everywhere. We want the GamePop service to be everywhere."