The gaming world has leant heavily on the console as a primary medium of enjoying the latest and greatest titles, and with the recent emergence of mobile-based action, companies are now trying to bring the mass of quality apps back to the traditional console format. BlueStacks, the company behind the popular Android emulation app for Windows and Mac, recently announced its GamePop console aimed at competing with the likes of the OUYA by allowing players to enjoy Android-based titles on their TV, and to add to that, it looks as though support for iOS games will also be added to the GamePop’s repertoire.
Of course, the ability to play Android games is one thing, but bringing iPhone, iPad and iPod touch titles to the living room console is quite another, and it’s thanks to BlueStacks’ ‘Looking Glass’ technology that such an ambitious feature is even possible.
According to BlueStacks rep John Gargiulo, Looking Glass is an "API-level virtualization technology" which allows any iOS game to run through GamePop with very little by way of hitch. All iOS developers would then need to do to support the GamePop is simply port their IP from iOS.
BlueStacks seem pretty undeterred as to what Apple will make of all this, with iOS titles set to be listed as “GamePop” games, rather than those of Apple’s mobile platform. With a further 500 Android games available at launch, BlueStacks has an impressive little system in the making, and with the OUYA having generated such a buzz on Kickstarter, one suspects that gamers will go equally crazy for GamePop once it finally manifests itself.
As noted before, GamePop operates a subscription model, which has earned it the tagline as the "Netflix of gaming". But unlike its movie-streaming counterpart, the Jelly Bean-running console stores its titles locally, so you won’t be experiencing any nagging issues when the connection drops.
With scores of investors already on board, BlueStacks really isn’t messing around with the GamePop, despite its fun-loving and innocuous name. Sure, gamers won’t get anywhere near the experiences they would on the likes of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, but as a cheap, versatile entertainment box, it does have real potential, and with iOS support unprecedented in this space, I wouldn’t be surprised if even more investors sink cash into it.
As we previously mentioned in our last coverage of the GamePop, the console will be free of charge to those preordering before the end of June.