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Games Hardware

GameStick Kickstarter Consoles Delayed To June 57

Posted by timothy
from the now-just-wait-a-minute dept.
hypnosec writes "Developer units of Android based gaming console on-a-stick GameStick have already been shipped but, the units meant for early Kickstarter backers have been delayed by two months and will now ship by late June, PlayJam has revealed. The reason, according to PlayJam, is that the consoles would require stronger tooling as compared to silicon based moulds of the dev consoles, which would be finished sometime by June 10. Further, because of the sheer increase in the number of units, PlayJam has said that it won't be able to afford the air freight and will be going for sea freight instead, which will delay the shipments to June."
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GameStick Kickstarter Consoles Delayed To June

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  • Controller (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArcadeMan (2766669) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @12:07PM (#43384443)

    The two analog sticks aren't even aligned vertically... what's up with that?

    • Re:Controller (Score:4, Informative)

      by archshade (1276436) <ba,parsonage&gmail,com> on Sunday April 07, 2013 @12:28PM (#43384559)

      The only consoles I can think of that have vertical aligned analogue sticks are Sony PlayStation* controllers. For this reason I have never felt completely comfortable with them. I guess it's what your used to but having gone Nintendo > MS on consoles, which probably explains it. My favorite controller ever was the original Gamecube one slightly small, but for games designed with it in mind second to non.

      As far as controllers go I have never thought Sony really knew what they where doing the the shoulder buttons never seemed to be in the correct place and I prefer the asymmetric analogue stick layout - the later is training though.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by macdude22 (846648)
        Sweet Malty Balls, a sane person at last!. I'm surrounded by people that claim offset sticks are terrible and the DualShock is the greatest controller ever conceived, even though it is an RSI inducing pile (thats not to say in the mid 90s there was anything better, but now?). I always felt completely comfortable with a Cube controller, the 360 controller is probably second best. I use a Cronus Device just so I don't have to use the DualShock of death on my PS3. The left stick and buttons are the most common
    • by Diamon (13013)

      It looks like it's set up to be used either Joystick & ABXY or D-Pad & Joystick. Why would they line up the joysticks? It only would make sense for games you would play with joystick & joystick (a la Robotron: 2084) which would seem to be in the minority.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      The two analog sticks aren't even aligned vertically... what's up with that?

      The Xbox 360 controllers do not have vertically aligned analog sticks either.

  • is GameStick denied

  • That explanation makes no sense whatsoever. The total cost goes up, sure, but does the per unit cost go up? They're paid per unit. More units means more revenue. More units should also give a better economy of scale. Sounds like their cost estimates were way off and they're trying to reduce expenses wherever they can.

    So why are they lying about it? What else are they lying about?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Exactly. If the units cost $100, and that included air freight, with let's say $20 going towards air freight, then whether they have 1000 or 100,000, there's still $20 going towards air freight, and generally a larger volume saves you money. If it's still cheaper to do them in 1000 unit shipments, then do them in 1000 unit shipments.

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      What else are they lying about?

      For one thing, the intelligence of the idiot they hired to come up with the lies...

  • by Jiro (131519) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @12:26PM (#43384553)

    Why is everyone going gaga over Android consoles? You can already hook up many existing tablets or other Android devices to HDMI and see games on your television. These new Android consoles are unlikely to get lots of games specific to just that console, so they will mostly run ordinary Android apps. They'll probably be used mostly to run emulators and media players on a TV--except that you can jailbreak a Wii to get that and the processing power of Android game consoles is weak enough that they have no advantage over a Wii for emulators (and only an advantage for media players because they have hardware decoding).

    • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie&hotmail,com> on Sunday April 07, 2013 @12:43PM (#43384643) Homepage

      You can already hook up many existing tablets or other Android devices to HDMI and see games on your television.

      Well, it's usually the "I have to crawl in there and start fiddling with cables" that puts people off such; the average consumer does not like cables or playing with them. Even I hate those things with a passion and I'm a geek.

      They'll probably be used mostly to run emulators and media players on a TV

      Is there something wrong with such usage, though? A small, completely-silent little box tucked away that can play all the tens of thousands of games of the past, all at your perusal with just a push of a power button and a few menu-items. I can definitely see the appeal.

      --except that you can jailbreak a Wii to get that and the processing power of Android game consoles is weak enough that they have no advantage over a Wii for emulators (and only an advantage for media players because they have hardware decoding).

      There is a resolution-advantage, however, as Android-devices can sport 1080p graphics both in games and in videos. Some Android-devices can do stereoscopic-3D, too, if your TV-set supports it. Also, all these Android-boxes consume less power than even a Nintendo Wii, so they make sense for families with lots of users that'll keep the thing going for days on end, or for the people who have this or that need to conserve some energy. Oh, and well, on families with lots of young, active children it might even be more cost-efficient to buy a cheap ~$50 box than one of the more powerful once -- if it gets broken it won't cost much to replace the thing!

      You don't have to agree with me or give these things the same value as I see in them, but the truth is that there are bound to be some people out there who would benefit from using these kinds of devices.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        you could have bought android consoles to attach to your tv with hdmi for few years already though.
        what's changed is marketing.. and bundling a game controller.

        they're for nerds who don't have a computer hooked up to the bigscreen.

      • by Jiro (131519)

        Well, it's usually the "I have to crawl in there and start fiddling with cables" that puts people off such

        What? The number of cables it takes to attach a tablet with an HDMI port to a TV is one. If one cable causes people trouble, I don't understand how they can handle their PS3 and Wii.

        And a more basic problem with this argument is that the main audience for these devices is geeks, who don't have problems with attaching cables, using wireless controllers, or any of the other things that are supposed disa

    • by alen (225700)

      i have no intention of buying one, but the use case is a $99 console and a cheap phone. if you are outside the USA where phones cost real money then this sounds like a good deal

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      A console capable of 1080p output, has low-cost casual games, and doesn't require an always-on connection. Don't talk to me about graphics unless they're truly crap, because for me it's gameplay that matters. I have a PS3, but am done with Sony entirely. Nor will I be buying a new Xbox or a Wii U. The major console makers have taken enough of my money, and now they want to control when and what I can play - always-online and no used games. I'll be buying an Ouya as well as a GameStick, and I'll be buying my

    • by loufoque (1400831)

      This still doesn't fix the biggest problem with android games: lack of a proper controller.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      Why is everyone going gaga over Android consoles? You can already hook up many existing tablets or other Android devices to HDMI and see games on your television. These new Android consoles are unlikely to get lots of games specific to just that console, so they will mostly run ordinary Android apps. They'll probably be used mostly to run emulators and media players on a TV--except that you can jailbreak a Wii to get that and the processing power of Android game consoles is weak enough that they have no advantage over a Wii for emulators (and only an advantage for media players because they have hardware decoding).

      What if you don't have any android devices, ie, tablets or smartphones? Wait, the world evolves around you, right?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 07, 2013 @12:31PM (#43384579)

    because of the sheer increase in the number of units, PlayJam has said that it won't be able to afford the air freight and will be going for sea freight instead

    Increased number of units would increase revenue proportionately, decrease production costs and keep shipping costs constant, or reduce them (on a per unit basis)

    So, this doesnt make sense

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It appears they've made deals with several retailers (ie GameStop) and are trying to produce/ship all orders at once, including Kickstarter, allowing them to lower costs on all orders and maximize their profits. From a general accounting perspective, that makes sense, but from a public relations standpoint, it's terrible. They're basically doing the major retailer orders on the backs of the Kickstarter early backers, and not giving them any real reward. It sounds like backers may not even get this much p

    • To play devil's advocate, it seems that those running this project don't fully understand the problems of order fulfillment
      If they are shipping from overseas (I'm assuming since the alternative is sending by boat), you run into customs and logistics issues. There are all sorts of crazy limitations, duties, paperwork and other overhead when transporting commercial goods by air that are minimized when you send by sea. For example there are seemingly arbitrary container requirements for shipping certain item
  • If you look at the summary, it seems like both the retooling and sea shipping would push the delivery date to June, so adding those two up, wouldn't it push the ETA even further?

    Actually, the paritynews.com article says:

    Following the mechanical tooling, which is expected to finish by second week of June, the units will be assembled, tested and then packed. PlayJam notes that because of the sheer increase in the number of units, it won’t be able to afford the air freight and it will be going for sea b

    • by shoemilk (1008173)
      As a backer, I can see the updates on KS. Here is what they said:

      Initially we had hoped to deliver GameStick to you at the end of April. We now expect to complete mechanical tooling about 4 weeks later at the end of May. Then the units are assembled, tested and assuming there are no issues, packed prior to shipping to each territory. We expect to ship around the 10th June. The volumes are now too large for us to be able to afford to air-freight them, which was our plan, so now we are going to have to use sea freight to deliver them. That's going to take around 2 weeks. Then we have fulfillment in territory – which we estimate will take between 1 and 5 days depending on where you are located. This means we think the likely date of arrival of your hand crafted GameStick will be at the last week of June.

  • by shoemilk (1008173) on Sunday April 07, 2013 @07:41PM (#43386989) Journal
    There seems to be confusion here because the story is a news article and not the direct update from PlayJam. Here's what they told their KS backers

    Huge Momentum.

    When we started this project we were unsure how successful it would be. Our expectation was that we would do an initial run of a few thousand units and then go from there. What happened next was a whirlwind. We’ve now got 27 retailers around the world engaged and placing orders for our micro-console. We have GameStop in the US and Game in the UK as our lead retail partners, but with over 5,000 stores between them we are in a remarkable position to scale this project.

    With your support and backing we have created something that quite literally could help re-shape the games console industry. Quite a feat if we get it right.

    Dev units shipped.

    Key to making this happen is getting developers behind us and so far over 600 developers have signed up, including many great indies and major studios. We’re working on bringing some great titles to the TV and over the coming months we will make some announcements on some of the awesome exclusive content we have in development. We’ve also signed strategic deals with companies like Amlogic and ARM which will help us promote our network throughout their huge eco-system. To harness this potential we have started shipping out the GameStick DEV units to our developer partners and will ship out the remaining units this week and next. One batch has been held up in customs because of the current issues around the use of air-freight to transport lithium batteries which exist within our controller. Hopefully this batch will be released next week.

    Using your feedback on these units we have already begun to make refinements on the final production model. We have adjusted the movement on the shoulder buttons, changed the analog stick assembly, moved the LED configuration, re-designed some of the buttons, changed the texture on the analog stick hats and put a mechanical door on the back of the controller so that when GameStick is being used the slot in the back of the controller is closed. We’re looking forward to getting further feedback from you all.

    Main Production Run.

    The main production run has gone from a few thousand units to tens of thousands of units. This has meant that we have had to change production methods and move to high volume tooling.

    Initially, we planned on demand for around 1,000 units so we were going to use silicon molds, which is what we have used for the GameStick DEV units. These don’t take much time to make, but they also cannot cope with the high volume production that we now need. As a result we have had to move to much higher end tooling which is being made in both China and Germany. To create these tools takes around 3 months and is a huge investment for us – one we can only afford to make once. Whilst this work has been underway for a while we have had to slow things down a bit to ensure we can get the final controller amendments prototyped and tested before the final tools can be finished.

    Initially we had hoped to deliver GameStick to you at the end of April. We now expect to complete mechanical tooling about 4 weeks later at the end of May. Then the units are assembled, tested and assuming there are no issues, packed prior to shipping to each territory. We expect to ship around the 10th June. The volumes are now too large for us to be able to afford to air-freight them, which was our plan, so now we are going to have to use sea freight to deliver them. That's going to take around 2 weeks. Then we have fulfillment in territory – which we estimate will take between 1 and 5 days depending on where you are located. This means we think the likely date of arrival of your hand crafted GameStick will be at the last week of June.

    Whilst we would have liked to ship earlier, we are, to a large degree, victims of the success we have created toge

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