UK Android console project unconcerned by Ouya

Casual games firm PlayJam has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new console that plugs directly into a TV’s HDMI slot.

The new device, aptly titled GameStick, will run Android games and come with a Bluetooth controller. The stick-shaped console then slots into the controller for easier portability.

While its design is unique, GameStick is not the first Android console to call for funding – the machine’s most notable rival beingthe crowd-funded Ouya. But UK firm PlayJam is confident GameStick can hold its own.

The video games market is indeed fiercely competitive and that is a great thing,” PlayJam CEO Jasper Smith told MCV.

The best known Android games console today is Ouya. We think it’s a great product but already we have pushed the boundaries in terms of product design to shrink the concept to the size of a HDMI stick with a price point of $79, including controller.

We appreciate we run the risk of coming up against people that may have funded similar concepts but we’re certain that people will understand the passion and value of GameStick and the huge change it will have on gameplay in our near future.”

PlayJam already works with a network of over 250 developers to bring games to Smart TVs, including Disney, Relentless and First Star Software.

GameStick is currently in beta, with a games network already in place and working prototypes in the hands of testers.

Now PlayJam is asking the public to pledge $100,000 to the GameStick project to enable full production. The campaign kicked off today, and will run for 30 days.

The funds are required to bring the project to production,” Smith told MCV. We have a core Smart TV business to support and that, as anyone who has worked in this space will tell you, is costly.

The company has been able to use a lot of its existing games platform and know how to get to this point which otherwise would have made the cost prohibitive. Kickstarter enables companies such as PlayJam to think laterally and that’s when good things happen.”

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