Although BlueStacks is just taking pre-orders for their GamePop Android-powered gaming console, they have decided to add to what is becoming an increasingly crowded market with the GamePop Mini console. The GamePop Mini will not only be different hardware, it will be sold using a different business model compared to the full-size GamePop. BlueStacks is currently offering the GamePop for free to users who pre-order their $6.99 per month subscription service. Once that special offer expires, the full-size GamePop is expected to cost $129, but buyers would get to keep that hardware even if they cancel their subscription. The GamePop Mini will be supplied by BlueStacks free, but users have to keep their subscription up to date. If they cancel during the first 12 months, they will have to return the hardware to BlueStacks and pay a small restocking fee. After that initial 12 month period though, they can keep the hardware.
According to BlueStacks, the GamePop Mini will run Jelly Bean 4.2 and will connect to a TV using an HDMI cable, just like the GamePop. Although expected to be less powerful than the full-size version, the GamePop Mini is supposed to be powerful enough to run any of the games available through the service.
You can read the press release below or head over to GamePop for more info. GamePop has not yet released full specifications for either device and only indicates they are expected to ship sometime this coming winter.
Palo Alto, CA June 28, 2013 – Mobile company BlueStacks has announced a second vehicle to deliver its new GamePop mobile gaming service, the GamePop Mini. Like the recently announced $129 GamePop, the new device will also run Jelly Bean 4.2, connect to TV via a supplied HDMI cable and include a curated group of 500 popular mobile game partners. Announced partners include HalfBrick (Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride), Glu (Blood Brothers), #1 Kids app developer Intellijoy and more. BlueStacks says the 6.99/month subscription will include access to over $200 in paid games for free.
“We have always planned on having a free console option,” said BlueStacks CEO, Rosen Sharma. “The biggest value of the GamePop service is its content – not the box. Hardware costs have come down so fast that we’re able to undercut the rest of the market. With the free promotion we’ve been doing in June we’re already seeing a ton of adoption. That volume then attracts more developers and therefore more and better content. It’s building momentum.”
In addition to announcing a lineup of several popular Google Top Developers, BlueStacks also came out with its “Looking Glass” technology earlier this month. Looking Glass will allow iOS-only developers to easily launch on GamePop. Titles such as iOS’s first major franchise the Fieldrunners series will be able to come to TVs this way.
“We want to make things as easy as possible for app developers to come on board,” said Ben Armstrong of the company’s developer relations team. “There is a virtuous circle between great content and volume that we’re having a lot of early success jumpstarting that so far. The launch titles a service comes with are critical.” Pre-orders went on sale May 9 for GamePop at Gamepop.tv and while not releasing specific numbers, the company reports they are stronger than expected. The free promotion for the GamePop console will end June 30, when it will go back to its regular price of $129. The GamePop Mini will be available for pre-order July 1. It is slated to ship this winter.