GameStick Android game console set for September 30 retail launch

After several months of delays, GameStick has a final release date of September 30.

The $80 Android-based game console is on sale through several online retailers, including Amazon and GameStop. According to The Verge, nearly all Kickstarter units have shipped, so those who helped fund GameStick should receive their consoles by mid-September. GameStick had originally planned to launch in April.

GameStick is also selling additional controllers for $40 each, a $50 dock for connecting peripherals and extra storage, and a $10 carrying case. All three accessories will launch on September 30 as well.

GameStick didn’t make the same kind of splash as Ouya, another Kickstarter-funded game console that’s on sale now. While Ouya raised more than $8.5 million from eager backers, GameStick pocketed just under $650,000.

The buzz around Ouya helped the startup to raise another $15 million in venture capital, which it can use to woo more developers to the console. Ouya now has nearly 400 games on its platform, compared to just 56 games listed on GameStick’s website. (Hopefully this number will ramp up after launch.)

Details

But GameStick is still worth keeping an eye on. Instead of a traditional set-top box, GameStick is a small dongle that plugs into the HDMI slot on televisions, and stows away inside the included wireless controller. It’s more portable than Ouya, and it’s $20 cheaper as well.

Ouya also stumbled out of the gate and earned mixed reviews from critics. TechHive’s Jason Cross noted that Ouya’s controller feels cheap, and felt that the console’s downloadable game store is too difficult to navigate.

Although GameStick will have trouble competing on game selection, it has a chance to outshine Ouya on the hardware and software experience. We’ll find out if GameStick can be a capable competitor at the end of next month.

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