GamePop challenges Ouya with subscriptionbased Android console

first_imgThe Ouya was a smash hit on Kickstarter, and it’s due to arrive late next month and usher in a new, cheap era in console gaming. Now the crew behind BlueStacks is getting in on the action, too, with a new Android console called GamePop.The hardware is free if pre-ordered before the end of May, and the company hasn’t stated what it will sell for after that. There’s also the required subscription, which does an end run around the whole free thing.GamePop runs $6.99 a month, but it’s not payable monthly. The company is looking for a yearly payment of $83.88. You’ll also need to pony up $9.95 for shipping — or $19.90 if you live anywhere other than The States.Still, it’s not a bad deal for what you get. A paid subscription snags GamePop users access to a catalog of more than 500 popular Android titles. You do also get a controller, but GamePop is running Android 4.2 and will support any other game controller that works with the OS. You’ll also be able to use your phone, if you happen to prefer touchscreens to physical controls.GamePop scores some obvious points for looking an awful lot like Futurama’s Madison Cube Garden. But styling and “free” hardware won’t be enough to win the battle for Android set-top gaming supremacy.Specs for the system haven’t been revealed yet, so there’s no telling whether or not GamePop offers performance that’s comparable to Ouya. There’s also the content issue to consider. Access to a massive game library is crucial to the success of a platform like this, and BlueStacks has a clever plan to get devs interested.For developers, the lure is a consistent revenue stream without needing customers to actually buy their games. A 50% cut of all subscription revenues will be set aside for devs. They’ll then split the kitty based on how many plays their games have received on GamePop.There’s a potential downside, of course — one that some artists have already experienced with streaming services like Spotify and Rdio. Pay-per-play doesn’t always translate to a lot of money… but for game developers, those cents (or fractions of cents) will still add up. If it’s down to missing out on revenue from an Android user altogether or scraping up loose change, the latter isn’t necessarily such a bad option.Which would you opt for, Geek readers? Ouya or GamePop?last_img read more