BlueStacks introduces GamePop Mini, subscription based ‘free’ game console

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By Jonathan Espinosa

gamepop_mini

With many hardware developers looking to bring mobile gaming to the big screen, mobile virtualization company, BlueStacks, is announcing GamePop Mini, a second vehicle to deliver its GamePop mobile gaming service. The console will be provided for free as long as the user pays a $6.99 monthly subscription free.

The GamePop Mini runs Jelly Bean 4.2 and connects to televisions via HDMI. The console will also include a list of 500 curated games for both Android and iOS including games that require a payment when purchasing from their respective app stores. BlueStacks says that the $6.99 subscription will include access to over $200 in paid apps for free.

The circumventing of hardware purchase via subscription free is not a new tactic. If the costs are low enough, it could lead to more adoption than would be possible otherwise. BlueStacks CEO Rosen Sharma added, “Hardware costs have come down so fast that we’re able to undercut the rest of the market. With the free promotion we’ve been doing in June we’re already seeing a ton of adoption. That volume then attracts more developers and therefore more and better content. It’s building momentum.”

The hardware is currently available for free after subscription, but will revert to costing $129 for purchase after June 30th. The company has also introduced the “Looking Glass” technology which allows iOS-only developers to easily launch onĀ earlier this month. For developers looking increase their reach beyond multiple platforms, this could be a great tool going forward.

The GamePop Mini’s target demographic is far from the hardcore gaming community. Though the company has stated there is no reason a Call of Duty would not appear on the GamePop Mini, it has been quick to emphasize its focus on more kid titles.

The console is set to launch this winter.