The GamePop console seemed to be simply yet-another-Android-console in development but using a subscription payment model as a differentiator. Now developers Bluestacks has revealed another interesting aspect to its console so it will stand out from the crowd – it will be able to run iOS games. Meanwhile Mad Catz has entered the Android console fray, revealing a Tegra 4 powered prototype box called ‘Project M.O.J.O.’.
Bluestacks GamePop is an eye-catchingly designed Android console. When it was first announced we learned that it would not be sold but be given free to subscribers who promised to pay $6.99 per month plus an initial $9.99 shipping. After 12 months you could cancel your subscription without any kind of fee. For your fee, as a subscriber, you would get “access to the top games and apps on mobile that you already love like Talking Tom 2, Jetpack Joyride, Kids Shape Puzzle and 500+ more, constantly updated. These include over $200 in paid mobile games!”
This offer remains until the end of June, what happens after that we don’t know. However pre-order folk will have to be patient as it’s only in “winter” when the console is expected to be released. We don’t know much about the GamePop hardware but that your “games will run as fast or faster than they do on a top mobile phone”.
GamePop: iPad and iPhone games on your TV
The GamePop looks like it will be the first non-Apple device out that will be able to tap into Apple’s huge iOS library. In the announcement detailling the iOS compatibility Bluestacks said that a new technology called ‘Looking Glass’, a virtualisation system that doesn’t use any Apple APIs, lets the Apple iOS software run.
“From a technology perspective, it uses virtualitzation, but it’s a different kind of virtualization than what we use for example for our PC products,” said BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma. “This is more API-level virtualization. We don’t use any of Apple’s bits – the developer just gives us the app and we make sure that it’ll run on GamePop.”
With this extra dimension of iOS game compatibility the GamePop console could prove popular with some people.
Mad Catz Project M.O.J.O.
This is a newly announced Android console developed by games peripheral company Mad Catz. The developers have chosen not to create a special store with its own game library, the console will be able to work with existing digital stores like Google Play or the Amazon Appstore.
The hardware powering your Android games is expected to include an Nvidia Tegra 4 SoC, Android 4.1 (stock), Wi-Fi, 16GB built-in storage, HDMI, USB sockets (2 standard, 1 micro), headphone and microSD slot. Any existing Android friendly controllers and input peripherals are supposed to work with this console as will of course Mad Catz’s own range. The C.T.R.L.R. Bluetooth controller supplied with the Project M.O.J.O. will have a mouse mode to help navigate game interfaces.
Games site IGN had a short hands-on with the prototype system and of the games they tried “they all ran great”. There is a video of the console in action over at IGN if you are interested in further details.