Gamepop Console Takes Aim At Ouya - UPDATED

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Gamepop Console Takes Aim At Ouya - UPDATED


Gamepop is an upcoming subscription-based service that promises to bring mobile gaming to your television for just seven bucks a month.

Hot on the heels of the Ouya's "success" - which I put in quotes simply because the ability to find funding [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/123880-Ouya-Receives-15-Million-From-New-Investors] isn't necessarily an indicator of how it will perform on the mass market, which has yet to actually see the thing - comes Gamepop, promising to put 500 mobile games on your television for $6.99 a month. The console includes its own wireless controller or you can use your iPhone or Android as a motion controller, and the announcement video promises that the Gamepop library will be constantly updated with new mobile titles. And if you preorder before the end of May, the whole thing is free. Free!

Before you open your wallet and take out your credit card, however, it might be prudent to ask a few questions. First, how much will the console cost after May? The website does not say. What if you decide you're tired of it after a couple of months? According to the terms and conditions [http://www.gamepop.tv/terms.html], you may cancel your contract at any time but will be on the hook "for all fees, charges, and other amounts incurred and owed under your Agreement along with any applicable ETF [early termination fee]." How long is the contract? Does not say. How much is the ETF? Does not say.

What games are in the library? Does not say. If the game library is all Android, why is the first phone to appear in the promotional video an iPhone? I don't know. Why does the website advertise a flat $6.99 monthly service fee while the T&C implies that multiple service plans, presumably with multiple levels of service at multiple costs, are available? Couldn't say.

Should you give these people money? Up to you, but in similarly speculative situations on Kickstarter and Indiegogo I have always counseled "buyer beware," and if I could I would be screaming it in your face right about now. We've reached out to the Gamepop folks for more information and will share whatever we come up with, and in the meantime you can dig into it a bit more yourself at gamepop.tv [http://www.gamepop.tv/].

UPDATE: We've actually received two responses from the Gamepop people regarding contract terms and return policy. The first came from John Gargiulo, business development and marketing guy at Gamepop parent Bluestacks Systems, who said on Twitter [https://twitter.com/JohnnotJon/status/332640589415862272] that the console is free through May, comes with $200 of "top paid games," can be returned anytime and is yours to keep after a year of the $6.99 monthly fee.

In an emailed response, however, a Gamepop support rep further clarified that customers who cancel and return the equipment "in good working condition" within 30 days of the original shipment will be subject to a $25 restocking fee; customers who cancel after 30 days will be hit with a $100 restocking fee. The $6.99 service fee is currently the only service option available, and while it sounds like other plans will be introduced after May, nothing official has been announced. Gamepop's return policy is available in full here [http://www.gamepop.tv/returns.html].


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Phlakes

Elite Member
Mar 25, 2010
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For some reason I get the feeling that putting mobile games on TVs is a misguided and soon to be shortlived fad.

Probably because that's exactly what it is.
 

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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Well, the terms of service are a lot better than the basic "We cannot refund your money" I've seen in various video game scams.

Still, even if this was something I cared about, there's too few details to even think about giving them money.
 

Slash2x

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Dec 7, 2009
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Yeah this sounds like a cheap knock off..... I have no desire to pay for this at all. IF I wanted mobile games at home I would hook an HDMI to my android tablet........
 

MetalMagpie

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Jun 13, 2011
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slash2x said:
IF I wanted mobile games at home I would hook an HDMI to my android tablet........
Might actually try that if I have a bored weekend. I'm a little curious now to find out whether I can knock up some sort of Frankenstein gaming system using my tablet, my TV, a HDMI cable and a couple of bluetooth peripherals.
 

Agayek

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Oct 23, 2008
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Phlakes said:
For some reason I get the feeling that putting mobile games on TVs is a misguided and soon to be shortlived fad.

Probably because that's exactly what it is.
To be entirely fair, Ouya isn't trying to put mobile games on TV. It's trying to make an open source TV console. People need to stop thinking of it as a phone that plugs into the TV. It's not. It's a console that anyone can develop for. The first round of releases are going to be ports of phone apps, but that's because they already exist using the same framework so it's really quick and cheap to port them over. The Ouya at least has a decent shot at being a really good console, assuming people release apps actually designed for it. Otherwise, it would be kinda like if no one had ever made any games for the SNES. A fancy box that doesn't really do anything of use.

This one though, I'm not so sure on. It sounds kinda sketchy to me, to be honest.
 

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
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May 13, 2009
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Agayek said:
Phlakes said:
For some reason I get the feeling that putting mobile games on TVs is a misguided and soon to be shortlived fad.

Probably because that's exactly what it is.
To be entirely fair, Ouya isn't trying to put mobile games on TV. It's trying to make an open source TV console. People need to stop thinking of it as a phone that plugs into the TV. It's not. It's a console that anyone can develop for. The first round of releases are going to be ports of phone apps, but that's because they already exist using the same framework so it's really quick and cheap to port them over. The Ouya at least has a decent shot at being a really good console, assuming people release apps actually designed for it. Otherwise, it would be kinda like if no one had ever made any games for the SNES. A fancy box that doesn't really do anything of use.

This one though, I'm not so sure on. It sounds kinda sketchy to me, to be honest.
Sounds more than sketchy.

My problem is that adroid developers appear to be shutting off their system for controllers. I have a Asus tablet that worked fine with a Logitech controller until I upgraded from 3 to 4. I'm now advised to root the tablet which I intend to do.

Way better than $7 a month to use my phone as a controller for the TV.
 

l3o2828

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Mar 24, 2011
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Cripple Fight! Cripple Fight!

No really, The ouya is not that good compared to many gaming tablets or so i heard, and then comes this that allows us to play mobile games on our televisio--Who wants this really pointless thing?
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

Better Red than Dead
Aug 5, 2009
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This smells fishy in so many ways. I suspect we`ll be hearing about this... thing again in the future.
 

Callate

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Dec 5, 2008
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So, what's worse... Failing to show your console with your announcement at all, or showing a console that appears to have come from the "bad corporate paperweight" school of design?

As for the thing itself, I have my suspicions that $6.99/month model comes with a healthy dose of screwing over small game developers. I could be wrong, we'll see...
 

Joos

Golden pantaloon.
Dec 19, 2007
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Pay 7$ a month to play games that are "free*" on my phone? OMG, where do I sign up?
 

Zombie_Moogle

New member
Dec 25, 2008
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Uuuuh... I dunno

Seems like it's aping the Ouya market, but where the Ouya is meant as an open platform for console game development, this sounds like they're going for a subscription approach to already existing mobile games, which I don't think makes much sense.

How much do you spend on mobile games a month? is it more than $7?
& is the new game that caught my eye gonna be on this service? Probably not

Add in the sketch T&C, and I think I'll pass for now
 

JamesBr

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Nov 4, 2010
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100$ flat fee for an open, modifiable console, with a large free-to-play component and excellent for the homebrew crowd, or 7$/month subscription for.....what? How heavily can this thing be hacked? Can it be rooted without voiding my warranty? Can the hardware be modified? Is it anything other than a 7$/month piece of s***? Doubt it. Not interested.
 

Gorrath

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Feb 22, 2013
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The idea sounds pretty terrible to me, and that's before you add in a terrible set of T&C. I am always wary of what sounds scam-y and has T&C that looks scam-y too. Access to mobile games? This basically sounds like they are trying to sell me a cell phone contract to play generally low quality garbage I already ignore on my phone. I just don't see a market for this without development specifically designed for this machine.
 

rasputin0009

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Feb 12, 2013
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So, it's cheaper to just subscribe for a year and keep it rather than return it? Or is the subscription for like 5 years?
 

weirdee

Swamp Weather Balloon Gas
Apr 11, 2011
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you ever wonder if they would make a console that isn't shaped like a box?