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It was only a matter of time before Ouya's successful Kickstarter campaign sparked other inventors to follow in their footsteps with similar concepts. That time is upon us as a new project known as GameStick aims to offer a competing product with a few refinements that might be worth your hard-earned money.
GameStick is similar to the Ouya console in a number of ways. Both systems will be powered by Google's Android operating system and pretty much share a common interface. The latest Kickstarter project will also be open-sourced like Ouya and the team is already working with a number of developers (more than 250, in fact) to bring fresh and existing titles to the platform.
The biggest difference between the two devices, however, is form factor. Where the Ouya is a small home console, the GameStick is essentially just what it sounds like - a console on a stick that's about the size of a USB flash drive. This has an HDMI connector that plugs directly into your television and even comes with a Bluetooth controller that can store the "console" as you travel.
Players also have the ability to bypass the controller altogether and use a mouse / keyboard combination or another gamepad if they so desire. The system can support up to four controllers at once, we're told.
The GameStick will be powered by a dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a dual-core Mali 400 GPU running at 400MHz, 1GB of system memory and 8GB of onboard storage for games. Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11b/g/n come standard and the unit will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The GameStick will go into production later this year if the campaign is successful in raising $100,000. As of writing, 399 backers have pledged just over $35,000 and there are still 29 days left to go. What's better, a pledge of just $79 will guarantee you get a console by April 2013 - some $20 cheaper than Ouya's offering.