GameStick

The GameStick was a video game console developed by PlayJam. It is a microconsole the size of a USB flash drive that plugs directly into the back of a TV through an HDMI port and ships with its own Bluetooth controller. Users can download content from a curated storefront via Wi-Fi, with content stored locally for offline access. The device is powered by the PlayJam Games Platform and runs its own version of the Android operating system. It is portable and aimed at casual to mid-core gamers. Like the Ouya, it was funded through Kickstarter.

Because of a change in production methods, the original release date of June 2013 was delayed,[1][2] and units did not ship to retailers until early November 2013.[3] The GameStick features an exclusive game and access to its app store, which mainly sells casual games. All systems can be used as development kits, allowing any GameStick owner to also be a developer, without licensing fees. The GameStick is part of the eighth generation of video game consoles.

Jasper Smith (chief executive officer of PlayJam) and the PlayJam development team began recruiting support early in the process. Before the project's launch, GameStick, based out of San Francisco, California, was said to have support from more than 1,000 developers.[4] Game designers interested in the project could pledge $500 in exchange for a prototype unit and development kit one month before launch. As of February 2013, the game was successfully funded with over 5,600 backers and about $650,000 raised.[5]

GameStick
GameStick Logo
Also known asGame Stick
DeveloperPlayJam
Product familyFirst Generation
TypeMicroconsole
Release dateNovember 15, 2013
Introductory priceUS$79 (equivalent to $84.97 in 2018)
Operating systemAndroid 4.2 Jelly Bean
System-on-chip usedAmlogic 8726-MX
CPUARM Cortex A9
Memory1 GB DDR3 / 8 GB FLASH
StorageGB internal flash memory
DisplayHDMI
1080p, 720p
GraphicsMali-400 MP
InputBluetooth
Controller inputWireless controller
Connectivity
DimensionsSize of a flash drive
SuccessorPlayjam OTT
Websitewww.gamestick.tv

Design and specifications

The GameStick consists of the flash-drive-sized console and a wireless Bluetooth controller. The controller has two analog sticks, a directional pad, four face buttons, two shoulder buttons, four system buttons for power and menus, and a slot in which the console can be stored. A GameStick dock is also available; it allows faster internet access with an Ethernet port, charging access for both the controller and the console, additional storage space, and the ability to connect to various peripherals such as USB keyboards, webcams, microphones, and dance mats.[6] The console contains an HDMI connector, an internal processor and memory, and wireless radios.[7]

Up to four controllers can be connected via Bluetooth 4.0, as can wireless keyboards and mice. The GameStick also supports iOS and Android devices as controllers. The system itself is Android-based but iOS compatible. The device supports 1080 HD playback as well as XBMC DLNA with an optional firmware upgrade. The GameStick uses an interface similar to the tiled dashboard on the Xbox 360.[8] The charger is a micro USB cable.

GameStick was the first third-party device to license ToFu Media Center, a derivative fork of XBMC Media Center.[9][10][11]

Reception

The Verge praised the GameStick's minimalist design and low cost, but criticized its limited game selection, its locked-down software and hardware, and its under-powered CPU, which was unable to play the latest Android games.[12] Similarly, Engadget cited the device's portability, low price, and slick design as strengths but was disappointed by the selection of games and the hardware, which it said could become outdated fairly quickly.[13]

Shutdown

The GameStick website began displaying a message saying that they would be shutting down the service after two years of operation, stating that after January 9th, 2017, the storefront would be inactive.[14]

As of December 2017, the GameStick website only shows the goodbye message and presents an expired SSL certificate. It is unlikely the service will ever return and the device itself is indirectly discontinued.

See also

References

  1. ^ GameStick: The Most Portable TV Games Console Ever Created by GameStick » Project Update - 158 Days In. — Kickstarter. Kickstarter.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-23.
  2. ^ "BBC News – Gamestick console release date delayed". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Mallory, Jordan (2013-01-03). "GameStick Android console is the size of a USB stick". Joystiq. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  5. ^ https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/872297630/gamestick-the-most-portable-tv-games-console-ever
  6. ^ "You spoke and we listened". Kickstarter. GameStick.
  7. ^ "Android Game Consoles: Ouya vs GameStick". gaducated.com. 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  8. ^ "GameStick Takes on Ouya as a Portable Android Games Console". IGN. 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  9. ^ Pivos Brings TOFU Media Center to GameStick Store at Launch
  10. ^ GameStick Review
  11. ^ PlayJam GameStick
  12. ^ The Verge (2013-11-01). "GameStick review: the Android console battle is on". The Verge. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  13. ^ Engadget (2013-11-11). "GameStick review: Android console gaming still awaits its king". Engadget. Retrieved 2015-05-11.
  14. ^ "GameStick Retired".

External links

1080p

1080p (1920×1080 px; also known as Full HD or FHD and BT.709) is a set of HDTV high-definition video modes characterized by 1,920 pixels displayed across the screen horizontally and 1,080 pixels down the screen vertically; the p stands for progressive scan, i.e. non-interlaced. The term usually assumes a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, implying a resolution of 2.1 megapixels. It is often marketed as full HD, to contrast 1080p with 720p resolution screens.

1080p video signals are supported by ATSC standards in the United States and DVB standards in Europe. Applications of the 1080p standard include television broadcasts, Blu-ray Discs, smartphones, Internet content such as YouTube videos and Netflix TV shows and movies, consumer-grade televisions and projectors, computer monitors and video game consoles. Small camcorders, smartphones and digital cameras can capture still and moving images in 1080p resolution.

2013 in video gaming

Numerous games were released in 2013, including new installments for well-received franchises, such as Ace Attorney, Ace Combat, Army of Two, Assassin's Creed, Batman: Arkham, Battlefield, BioShock, Call of Duty, Crysis, Dead Rising, Dead Space, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, Forza Motorsport, God of War, Gears of War, Gran Turismo, Grand Theft Auto, Killer Instinct, Killzone, Lost Planet, Luigi's Mansion, Mario Party, Mega Man, Metro, Need for Speed, Pokémon, Rayman, Saints Row, Shantae, SimCity, Sly Cooper, Sonic The Hedgehog, StarCraft, Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Tomb Raider, Total War and Zoo Tycoon. In addition, it saw the release of many new intellectual properties, such as Beyond: Two Souls, Papers, Please, Tearaway, The Wonderful 101 and The Last of Us. Many awards went to games such as BioShock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V, The Last of Us and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Gaming consoles PlayStation 4 from Sony Computer Entertainment and the Xbox One from Microsoft were also released in 2013.

Comparison of single-board computers

Comparison of single-board computers excluding single-board microcontrollers.

D-pad

A D-pad (short for directional pad or digital pad; also known as a control pad) is a flat, usually thumb-operated four-way directional control with one button on each point, found on nearly all modern video game console gamepads, game controllers, on the remote control units of some television and DVD players, and smart phones. Like early video game joysticks, the vast majority of D-pads are digital; in other words, only the directions provided on the D-pad buttons can be used, with no intermediate values. However, combinations of two directions (up and left, for example) do provide diagonals and many modern D-pads can be used to provide eight-directional input if appropriate.

Although digital D-pads offer less flexibility than analog sticks, they can easily be manipulated (requiring little movement of the thumb) with very high accuracy. They are also far less demanding in maintenance and do not protrude very far from the controller, making them ideal for portable consoles such as the Game Boy, DS and the PSP.

D-pads have appeared on other kinds of electronic equipment, including A/V remote controls (especially since the appearance of DVD players, which are heavily menu driven), calculators, PDAs, smartphones, and car stereos such as the AutoPC.

Edge (video game)

Edge is a puzzle platformer game developed by Mobigame for the iOS devices. The objective is to guide a rolling cube through maze-like levels and reach the goal. Originally released on the iTunes App Store in December 2008, it has been removed and re-added to the store multiple times due to a trademark dispute with Tim Langdell of Edge Games, concerning the use of the word "Edge" in the title. This had caused the game to be renamed as Edge by Mobigame and later Edgy, before ultimately returning to the App Store under its original name in October 2009. The game was released on multiple platforms including mobile phones, PlayStation Network, Steam, macOS, Android, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS.

Edge had obtain a positive reception and received multiple awards including the Milthon Award for Best Mobile Game, two categories for the 5th International Gaming Award, and nominated for three categories for Independent Games Festival. An expansion titled Edge Extended was released with new levels, new music, new 3D engine, and new AI dark cube. This expansion was released separately as an independent app for smartphones, and included in most ports of the original game.

Fist of Awesome

Fist of Awesome is an independently developed video game by Nicoll Hunt funded through Kickstarter, and is described by the developer as a time-travelling-lumberjack-em-up. Hunt was one of ten indie game developers chosen via Twitter to receive Ouya consoles for development. Fist of Awesome is one of the ten pre-selected indie games to be made potentially available for the Ouya.

Green Throttle Games

Green Throttle Games is a video game and video game peripheral developer.

Hero of Many

Hero of Many is an independent video game developed by Trickster Arts. It is an Action-adventure game for Android, iOS, Ouya and Windows. The Windows version was released on Steam on 15 September 2014. The game contains no dialogues and uses black silhouette graphics similar to Limbo. Hero of Many is inspired by the games Another World, Heart of Darkness and Abe's Oddysee.

Icy Tower

Icy Tower is a freeware computer game by Swedish game developer Free Lunch Design. It is a platform game set in a tower, where the player's goal is to jump from one "floor" to the next and go as high as possible without falling and plunging off the screen. The higher the player's character climbs, the faster the tower's floors move downward and the harder the game becomes. By default, the player controls the character using a keyboard.

Jasper Smith

Jasper Smith (born 1965) is a pioneer in interactive media and currently the CEO of PlayJam.

List of microconsoles

This is a list of microconsoles from the first created to the present, in chronological order.

The microconsole market started in the seventh generation era of video game consoles, and this market has quickly grown during the eighth generation era of gaming consoles, at the same time as other types of video game consoles.

Microconsole

A microconsole is a type of video game console. Many of the devices that the term has been used to describe are low-cost Android-based devices that are designed to connect to televisions and play video games downloaded from an application store, such as Google Play.

Mimpi (video game)

Mimpi is a video game developed by Czech company Silicon Jelly. It is a mix of an adventure puzzle and a platform game.

The Sequel Mimpi Dreams was released in 2015.

Mimpi Dreams

Mimpi Dreams is a 2015 video game developed by Czech company Silicon Jelly. It is a mix of an adventure puzzle and a platform game. It is a sequel to Mimpi.

OHRRPGCE

The Official Hamster Republic Role Playing Game Creation Engine, abbreviated as OHRRPGCE or OHR, is an open-source, "All-in-one" game creation system. It was designed to allow the quick creation of 2D role-playing video games (RPGs). It was originally written by James Paige in QuickBASIC and released in late 1997 or early 1998. In May 2005, the source code was released as free software under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and it was soon ported from QuickBASIC to FreeBASIC and to modern operating systems.The OHRRPGCE is designed to be simple to use and to create full Final Fantasy-style RPGs without any scripting. HamsterSpeak, the custom scripting language used by the OHR, is very simple and is intended for users with no prior programming knowledge. As it is specialized with many hundreds of available commands, it provides flexibility although it does not attempt to be a general-purpose language. HUDs, battle systems, special effects, customized menus, and entirely scripted non-RPG games can be created with it.

Parental controls

Parental controls are features which may be included in digital television services, computer and video games, mobile devices and software that allow parents to restrict the access of content to their children. These controls were created to assist parents in their ability to restrict certain content viewable by their children. This may be content they deem inappropriate for their age, maturity level or feel is aimed more at an adult audience. Parental controls fall into roughly four categories: content filters, which limit access to age inappropriate content; usage controls, which constrain the usage of these devices such as placing time-limits on usage or forbidding certain types of usage; computer usage management tools, which enforces the use of certain software; and monitoring, which can track location and activity when using the devices.Content filters were the first popular type of parental controls to limit access to Internet content. Television stations also began to introduce V-Chip technology to limit access to television content. Modern usage controls are able to restrict a range of explicit content such as explicit songs and movies. They are also able to turn devices off during specific times of the day, limiting the volume output of devices, and with GPS technology becoming affordable, it is now possible to easily locate devices such as mobile phones.

The demand for parental control methods that restrict content has increased over the decades due to the rising availability of the Internet. A recent ICM survey showed that almost a quarter of young people under the age of 12 had been exposed to online pornography. Restricting especially helps in cases when children are exposed to inappropriate content by accident. Monitoring may be effective for lessening acts of cyberbullying within the internet. It is unclear whether parental controls will affect online harassment in children, as little is known about the role the family plays in protecting children from undesirable experiences online. 95% of America's students between the ages of twelve and seventeen access the web daily, and 88% of those students said they had witnessed their peers bullying online users or were being bullied. Parents have access to 100% free online platforms to control the websites that their child goes on by restricting it or controlling the content that they can view.

Seventh generation of video game consoles

In the history of video games, the seventh generation of home consoles began in late 2005 with the release of Microsoft's Xbox 360, and continued with the release of Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Nintendo's Wii the following year. Each new console introduced a new type of breakthrough in technology: the Xbox 360 could play games rendered natively at high-definition video (HD) resolutions; the PlayStation 3 offered HD movie playback via a built-in 3D Blu-ray Disc player; while the Wii focused on integrating controllers with movement sensors as well as joysticks. Some Wii controllers could be moved about to control in-game actions, which enabled players to simulate real-world actions through movement during gameplay (e.g., in the Wii sports tennis game, the user swings the controller to hit the on-screen image of a tennis ball). The seventh generation of handheld consoles began in November 2004 with the North American introduction of the Nintendo DS (NDS) as a "third pillar", alongside Nintendo's existing Game Boy Advance and GameCube consoles. Another handheld console, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), came out in December. By this generation, video game consoles had become an important part of the global IT infrastructure; it is estimated that video game consoles represented 25% of the world's general-purpose computational power in 2007.Joining Nintendo in the motion market, Sony Computer Entertainment released the PlayStation Move in September 2010. The PlayStation Move features motion-sensing gaming, similar to that of the Wii. Microsoft joined the motion-sensing scene in November 2010 with its Kinect (previously announced under the working title "Project Natal" in June 2009). Unlike the other two motion systems (for PlayStation 3 and Wii), Kinect does not use controllers of any sort, and instead makes the players act as the "controllers". Having sold eight million units in its first 60 days on the market, Kinect claimed the Guinness World Record of being the "fastest selling consumer electronics device". While the Xbox 360 offers wired as well as wireless controllers as a standalone product, all PlayStation 3 controllers can be used in wired and wireless configurations.

As for handheld systems, the Nintendo DS (NDS), launched on November 21, 2004, features a touch screen and built-in microphone, and supports wireless IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standards. Additionally, the revised version of the NDS, the Nintendo DSi, features two built-in cameras, the ability to download games from the DSi store, and a web browser. The PlayStation Portable (PSP), released later that year on December 12, 2004, followed a different pattern. It became the first handheld video game console to use an optical disc format, Universal Media Disc (UMD), as its primary storage media. Sony also gave the PSP robust multimedia capability; connectivity with the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, other PSPs; as well as Internet connectivity. The NDS likewise had connectivity to the internet through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and Nintendo DS Browser, as well as wireless connectivity to other DS systems and Wii consoles. Despite high sales numbers for both consoles, PSP sales have consistently lagged behind those of the NDS; thus, the PSP can claim the distinction of being the best-selling non-Nintendo handheld gaming system.A crowdfunded console, the Ouya, received $8.5 million in preorders before launching in 2013. Post-launch sales were poor, and the device was a commercial failure. The business was wound down due to financial problems and sold to Razer Inc., which discontinued the Ouya in July 2015. Additionally, microconsoles like Nvidia Shield Console, Amazon Fire TV, MOJO, Razer Switchblade, GamePop, GameStick, Ouya, and even more powerful PC-based Steam Machine consoles have attempted to compete in the video game console market; however, even though some of these machines are theoretically powerful on paper, they are seldom referred to as "seventh generation", "eighth generation", or any generation consoles.The seventh generation slowly began to wind down when Nintendo began cutting back on Wii production in the early 2010s by discontinuing the original Wii model in the Western world in 2011, then discontinuing the system altogether in Japan in October 2013. Nintendo ceased production of its Family Edition around the same time, leaving the Wii Mini as its only surviving variant as of 2014. Shortly afterwards, Sony announced they were discontinuing the production of the PSP worldwide that year, following an earlier announcement from Nintendo that it had discontinued its original line of NDS family devices to move onto the Nintendo 3DS line, while continuing to support the Nintendo DSi. Microsoft then announced, in 2016, that they would discontinue, but continue to support, the Xbox 360 at the end of April, making it the first seventh-generation console to cease production altogether. The following year, Sony announced that it would soon discontinue its PS3 line in Japan, and, within a matter of months, in the rest of the world. Around that time, 2017, the Wii Mini and the Nintendo DSi were also discontinued, marking the complete and final end to the Wii consoles, DS line. In late 2018, the last game release for the Wii, Just Dance 2019, was released, effectively ending the seventh generation of consoles.

Shadowgun

Shadowgun is a 2011 third-person shooter developed and published by Madfinger Games for iOS, BlackBerry PlayBook and Android. The game was followed by successful sequels Shadowgun: DeadZone (2012) and Shadowgun Legends (2018). The company is also preparing Shadowgun War Games focused on team based PvP gameplay and esports. In 2013, the game was ported to Ouya and BlackBerry 10, and was also released as a pre-installed app on PlayJam's GameStick for anyone who supported the GameStick Kickstarter campaign.

Trickster Arts

Trickster Arts is an indie game development team based in the Czech Republic. It consists of former 2K Czech employees.

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