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GameStick consoles shipped to Kickstarter backers, retail launch planned for next month

GameStick consoles shipped to Kickstarter backers, retail launch planned for next month

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The GameStick portable Android console has finally shipped to Kickstarter backers, with retail deliveries planned for the end of next month. Earlier in August, the company announced that it had completed a pilot run of GameSticks and would start fulfilling backers' purchases as soon as they finished final testing. Now, it's confirmed to The Verge that nearly all Kickstarter units have shipped and should be arriving within the next few weeks. If you've preordered a unit through Amazon or another retailer, the tentative release date is September 30th.

As a highly successful Kickstarter project and a low-cost Android console, the GameStick is often compared to the Ouya. Design-wise, it's fairly different: while the Ouya is a dedicated home console that emphasizes design and "hackability," the GameStick is meant to be simple and portable, with an HDMI dongle that clips into a square controller. It's also, however, navigating some of the same problems the Ouya faced, including delays and a retail launch. Backers were supposed to get their units in April, but after receiving far more orders than expected, the GameStick team pushed back the launch until June, then missed that deadline as well.

So far, though, there's no sign that GameStick backers will experience the same frustrations as Ouya ones. Shipping problems derailed plans to get consoles into the hands of some pre-order or Kickstarter customers before retail launch, and people who had placed orders months ago found themselves waiting while impulse buyers plucked them off store shelves. Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman later offered jilted customers credit in the Ouya store.