Video Games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, nintendo, wii, ds, sony, microsoft, PSN, XBLA, Onlive, Playstation Vita, Wii U,
Posted by drew10 on May 30, 2013
New Stick On The Block

New Stick On The Block

With E3 looming large and the rather uninspiring reveals of both the PS4 and Xbox One, we ask where now for the video games industry.

If anyone thought the PS4 unveiling was poor then trust Microsoft to go one better and make the Xbox One unveil probably the most disappointing in gaming history. Now both these behemoths need very strong showings at E3 just to get disaffected gamers back onside, even if Sony’s PR machine has gone into overdrive since the Xbox One event. To be fair though Microsoft did most of Sony’s PR for them.

I, like most gamers have been left with feeling like both machines have taken gamers for granted. They seem underpowered (even if the specs are pretty impressive) and could be surpassed very quickly by high-end PC’s. Do we care whether you can watch sports on the Xbox? Does anyone really use his or her Xbox to watch TV? Perhaps the occasional film but all most Xbox  or Playstation owners care about is games and thus far we feel a little cheated.

It kind of makes you wonder if there is now a gap in the market that could be exploited by someone else. GameStickWe can pretty much forget Nintendo. The Wii U could have been a great machine. First to market, an impressive new controller adding depth to the overall experience and an impressive line-up of games… Ah!

Obviously we here at G4A have always geared our site towards the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network releases and as such a certain little console has been tweaking our interest for sometime.  The console is PlayJam’s GameStick and it is aimed very firmly at the casual games market. In fact PlayJam claim that GameStick is aimed at the Smart TV market more than the Next Gen consoles of this world.  In a recent interview with Games Insider International, PlayJam CCO Charles Tigges said “One reason why this product exists is we were frustrated with what users get from a Smart TV. If you have a controller it’s a TV remote that can’t be used for games, or it doesn’t work properly.”  So you see where they are coming from and you cant argue against the fact either. That and the fact that most content on a Smart TV is pretty crappy.

The little white controller looks like the bastard son if SNES and PS1 controllers ever got it on. The console itself comes on a HDMI stick, which plugs into your TV and away you go. When you have finished, the stick slots neatly into a slot on the bottom of the controller.

playjam-gamestick-2The games are quick and easy to pick up and play and certainly have that arcade feel that we love. Built on an Android OS, GameStick is easy for developers to get their heads around and also ports will be very easy as well.

What’s more the GameStick will retail for the price of two full priced games, around £80 so could fall into the impulse buy category.

Whether GameStick can wrestle its way into a unique place in the market remains to be seen but from what has been on show so far it seems the PlayJam have really thought about what is required and produced an affordable, instantly playable little machine that could yet find its way into many homes.

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