Android-based living room gaming consoles are not a new thing. GameStick and OUYA, for example, offer users the ability to access to hundreds of Android games from their controllers and set-top box devices. Home consoles that allow users the ability to play Android and iOS games on one device, however, are. BlueStacks recently announced that its GamePop console will feature games that are supported by Android and iOS, all in one box.
The first gaming company to join up with BlueStacks for GamePop integration is Subatomic Studios, the company that developed the popular Fieldrunners tower defense game. Fieldrunner is considered one of the App Store’s defining hits.
BlueStacks promises that there are many more iOS game developer partnerships in the works. These, alongside the hundreds of Android titles makes it possible for gamers to play up to 500 different titles for a low subscription cost of $6.99 per month.
BlueStacks created a new proprietary technology called “Looking Glass” to allow them to bring iOS and Android titles together under one roof, or box, if you will. Looking Glass lets game coders working on the GamePop side create a type of virtualization similar to the way Android titles are redesigned for Windows 8. However, this technology does not use Apple’s APIs, nor does it conflict with the company’s strict iOS software guidelines.
“From a technology perspective, it uses virtualization, 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.”
GamePop will be the first device to bring together Android and iOS in one console. If it proves to be popular enough, this may open the doors for a whole new gaming experience. The console and controller are available for free through the month of June with a $6.99 subscription. After the introductory sale is over, the console and controller will retail for $129.