Gamepop Android TV game console promises iOS support

Bluestacks' Gamepop console is a work in progress - a video game console you hook up to your TV that will let you play Android games via a subscription service priced at $6.99 per month. Now the developer says it'll work with iOS games too.

Android game consoles aren't a new idea - Ouya, another Android-based console still in development and available for pre-order, has captured the lion's share of attention thus far. But Ouya will play only Android games, which gives Gamepop a unique distinguishing feature. It apparently works through technology Bluestacks calls Looking Glass. Looking Glass mimics Apple's iOS APIs but isn't a traditional emulator or virtualization system, according to Bluestacks' CEO.

Bluestacks has already signed up prominent developers like Subatomic Studios, Gameloft, Glu, Halfbrick and Jawfish to bring their games to the console. There are still a lot of questions about Gamepop - what is inside, when it will be available, and what the controller will look like (though Bluestacks indicates that you can use an iPhone or Android phone to control the game as well). But that doesn't mean that Gamepop is vapor: Bluestacks' current offering is App Player, which enables Windows and OS X users to play Android games on their desktop. So the company has demonstrated experience with virtual machines.

Bluestacks plans to charge $6.99 per month for access to games through Gamepop. Folks who pre-order the system now can get it for free, but eventually it'll cost $129.

Sure, you can stream some game content from your iOS device to a big TV set using Apple TV and AirPlay streaming - often with laggy results: a far cry from actually being able to play iOS games on your TV. So what do you think? Would you buy this and subscribe to the service to get iOS games on the big screen once and for all?

Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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