GameStick, the portable Android based video game console will have support for XBMC. PlayJam, the people behind GameStick made this announcement just 2 days ago. I know for a fact that there will be many who are rejoicing over this announcement.
Ouya, the other Android based video game console made a similar announcement back in early March. If you are not an XBMC user or you do not know what XBMC is, you may not realize how important this announcement is or why the GameStick cannot be left out of the XBMC bandwagon now that Ouya has support for it.
XBMC had its roots in the original Xbox game console. The acronym used to stand for XBox Media Center. However, since then it has grown into a multi platform digital media player and management software that is very popular. Being a media player meant that it is best paired up with a TV set. However, this usually means hooking up a PC with XBMC installed, to the TV. This has always been a barrier to the adoption of XBMC by normal users. In order for XBMC to gain popularity among the masses, it has to be on a simple device that you can just connect to your TV and it has to work with minimum fuss.
When the Android Mini PCs first arrived on the scene, one of the most requested features is support for XBMC. Eventually, Android versions of XBMC that ran on the Android Mini PCs were released. However, there is a major issue. There is no support for hardware video decoding on most of the Android devices. This meant that HD content do not play smoothly and this is a major setback.
Only one company took the initiative to work closely with the XBMC team to come up with an Android version of XBMC that supported hardware video decoding for their devices. This is Pivos, the makers of the Pivos XIOS media players.
PlayJam’s GameStick team are working with Pivos to bring XBMC to the GameStick. Working with Pivos means that PlayJam does not have to start from scratch. A full featured XBMC Media Center on a portable device like the GameStick is a very attractive feature. Imagine that you are traveling and you want to watch online content or even your own media collection on the big screen TV in the hotel room. All you have to do is bring along the diminutive GameStick along with you and plug it into the TV.
The GameStick is a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised over $640,000 out of its original target of $100,000 back in Feb 2013. Delivery of the first batch of GameStick to the campaign backers is expected to be in April 2013.
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